relativistic spin precession
pišâyân-e âse-ye carxeš-e bâzânigi-mand
Fr.: précession de l'axe de rotation relativiste
The change in the direction of the → rotation axis of a → pulsar in a → binary pulsar. In such a system, → geodetic precession leads to a relativistic → spin-orbit coupling, analogous of → spin-orbit coupling in atomic physics. In consequence, the pulsar spin precesses about the total → angular momentum, changing the relative → orientation of the pulsar toward Earth (Damour & Ruffini, 1974). As a result, the angle between the pulsar → rotation axis and our → line of sight changes with time, so that different portions of the emission beam can be observed leading to changes in the measured pulse profile. In extreme cases, the precession may even move the beam out of our line of sight and the pulsar may disappear as predicted for PSR 1913+16 for the year 2025.