Stability criteria for mass transfer in binary stellar evolution
van den Heuvel 2
Received 18 December 1996 / Accepted 26 May 1997
The evolution of a binary star system by various analytic approximations of mass transfer is discussed, with particular attention payed to the stability of these processes against runaway on the thermal and dynamical timescales of the mass donating star. Mass transfer in red giant - neutron star binary systems is used as a specific example of such mass transfer, and is investigated. Hjellming & Webbink's (1987) results on the dynamic timescale response of a convective star with a core to mass loss are applied, with new results.
It is found that mass transfer is usually stable, as long as the wind's specific angular momentum does not exceed the angular momentum per reduced mass of the system. This holds for both dynamical and thermal timescales. Those systems which are not stable will usually transfer mass on the thermal timescale. Included are graphs illustrating the variation of with mass ratio in the binary, for various parameters in the non-conservative mass transfer, as well as evolutionary paths of interacting red giant neutron star binaries.
Key words: close binaries tidal interaction mass transfer
Send offprint requests to: G. E. Soberman; Internet Address: soberman@tapir.Caltech.EDU
© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997
Online publication: April 6, 1998