A Caltech Library Service

Secular Evolution of the Pulsar Triple System J0337+1715

Luan, Jing and Goldreich, Peter (2014) Secular Evolution of the Pulsar Triple System J0337+1715. Astrophysical Journal, 790 (1). Art. No. 82. ISSN 0004-637X.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The pulsar triple system J0337+1715 is remarkably regular and highly hierarchical. Secular interactions transfer angular momentum between inner and outer orbits unless their apsidal lines are parallel or anti-parallel. These choices correspond to orthogonal eigenmodes p and are characterized by e_(p,1)/e_(p,2) ~ a_(1)/a_(2) and e_(a,1)/e_(a,2) ~ (a_(1)/a_(2))^(−3/2)(m_(2)/m_(1)). Mode p dominates the current state so e1/e2 remains close to e_(p,1)/e_(p,2). A small contribution by Mode a causes e1 and e_(2) to oscillate with a period of ~10^(3)  yr which should be apparent in a few years. These will reveal the effects of general relativity, and possibly the distortion of the inner white dwarf (WD). Phinney proposes that the epicyclic energy of a WD-pulsar binary reaches equipartition with the kinetic energy of a single convective eddy when the WD's progenitor fills its Roche lobe. We extend Phinney's theory to apply to modes rather than individual orbits. Thus we predict that Mode p and Mode a achieved equipartition with eddies in the giant envelopes of the progenitors of the outer and inner WD, respectively. The most effective eddies are those with lifetimes closest to the orbit period. These were far more energetic in the progenitor of the outer WD. This explains why Mode p overwhelms Mode a, and also why the inner binary's orbit is far more eccentric than orbits of other WD-pulsar binaries with similar orbit periods. Mode a's small but finite amplitude places a lower bound of Q ~ 10^(6) on the tidal quality parameter of the inner WD.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 2014 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 May 9; accepted 2014 June 12; published 2014 July 7. We thank Scott Ransom and Anne Archibald for educating us about how the masses and orbits of the pulsar triple system were derived. We appreciate that Scott Ransom pointed out that we used a wrong number for this system immediately after we posted the paper on arXiv. We are grateful to John Chambers both for making his code Mercury publicly available and for responding to our queries on how to use it. Thanks are also due to Christian Ott and Sterl Phinney for guidance regarding the possibility that the pulsar in J0337+1715 formed by accretion induced collapse of a WD. We also like to thank Anthony L. Piro for reminding us that the Q values in Piro (2011) are actually upper limits.
Subject Keywords:celestial mechanics; pulsars: individual (J0337+1715); white dwarfs
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140815-140932022
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Secular Evolution of the Pulsar Triple System J0337+1715 Jing Luan and Peter Goldreich 2014 ApJ 790 82
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48627
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:15 Aug 2014 22:13
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:05

Repository Staff Only: item control page