Institute of Astronomy

The Many Faces of Very Massive Binaries in Tight Orbits

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Pablo Marchant25 July 2016Binary Stars Talks


Recently, the evolution of massive binaries in orbits tight enough to induce strong rotational mixing and chemichally homogeneous evolution in both components has been put forward as a promising source for the formation of merging double black holes.  However, if this channel of evolution ocurrs in nature, it does not only have implications for gravitational wave astronomy, but also for our understanding of the evolution of very massive stars, in particular regarding the ocurrence of pair-instability supernovae (with possible implications for galactic chemical evolution) and gamma-ray bursts. Several of these systems should also undergo phases of deep contact early on in their lifes, synchronyzing their evolutionary state and bringing their mass ratio to unity. In addition,  potential progenitors for ultra-luminous X-ray binaries can be formed in systems where only the more massive component evolves homogeneously. In this talk I will provide an overview on how these systems are expected to evolve into these various phases, together with the observational evidence that supports it.