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General expressions for the expected timing residuals induced by gravitational wave (G-wave) emission from a slowly evolving, eccentric, binary black hole system are derived here for the first time. These expressions are used to search for the signature of G-waves emitted by the proposed supermassive binary black hole system in 3C 66B. We use data from long-term timing observations of the radio pulsar PSR B1855+09. For the case of a circular orbit, the emitted G-waves should generate clearly detectable fluctuations in the pulse-arrival times of PSR B1855+09. Since no G-waves are detected, the waveforms are used in a Monte Carlo analysis in order to place limits on the mass and eccentricity of the proposed black hole system. The analysis presented here rules out the adopted system with 95% confidence. The reported analysis also demonstrates several interesting features of a G-wave detector based on pulsar timing.


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Astrophysical Journal





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