The late evolution of cataclysmic variables

Accreting white dwarfs from main-sequence companions (commonly known as cataclysmic variables, CVs) are one of the most abundant interacting binaries in our Galaxy. Recent observational breakthroughs have provided direct tests to evolution model predictions of CVs. However, discrepancies between observations and the standard model remain. Among them, the long-standing prediction that highly evolved CVs should harbour brown dwarfs as donor stars. Furthermore, these evolved CVs are predicted to dominate the population of CVs. Observationally, this is not observed. In this talk, I will present the first direct detection and characterisation of one such system. Time-resolved spectroscopy of the eclipsing system SDSS J143317.78+101123.23 revealed the donor to be a consistent with a brown dwarf with a mass well below the hydrogen-burning limit. I will present this detection in the context of the late-evolution of CVs and will present further efforts to find this elusive population.

Juan Hernandez — API -- UvA
Thursday 16 March 2017, 12:00
Location: C4.174