Institute of Astronomy

Mind your Ps and Qs: the Interrelation between Binary Orbital Periods P and Mass Ratios Q

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Max Moe25 July 2016Binary Stars Talks


We have compiled 30+ separate surveys of binary stars, corrected for their respective selection effects, and measured their statistical parameters in a homogenous manner. The intrinsic distributions of primary mass M1, mass ratio q, orbital period P, eccentricity e, and multiplicity are all interrelated with each other. We model the joint probability distribution function f(M1,q,P,e), which is not equal to f(M1)f(q)f(P)f(e). Separately adjusting the individual distribution functions to the extremes will still not encompass the true nature of the binary population. I will discuss how the intrinsic interrelations of the binary star properties provide insight into their formation processes, and I will highlight the implications for binary evolution. In particular, the updated initial conditions have important consequences for the predicted rates and properties of Type Ia supernovae and low-mass X-ray binaries.