The formation of compact binaries

Compact binaries are mesmerising objects that give rise to some of the most energetic events in the universe such as X-ray & Gamma-ray bursts, Type Ia supernovae, gravitational wave emission, and stellar interactions such as mass transfer and collisions. But how do these binaries form? How do they become so compact? The usual suspect is called the common-envelope phase. During this phase, both stars travel through a single gaseous envelope and the orbit shrinks, leading to the formation of a compact system.

I will discuss our current understanding and the rare observational constraints on common-envelope evolution. Moreover, novel ways of forming compact binaries involve triple star-systems. I will give examples of these evolutionary pathways and show how triples evolve differently than binaries.

Silvia Toonen — API -- UvA
Thursday 13 April 2017, 12:00
Location: C4.174