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Fun with Binary Stars

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  • UserJim Fuller (CalTech)
  • ClockWednesday 24 June 2020, 16:30-17:30
  • Houseonline .

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Silvia Toonen.

In addition to being the sources of exotic supernovae and gravitational waves, binary stars allow for interesting new insights in stellar astrophysics. The pulsations of tidally distorted stars in close binaries are ``tidally trapped,” exhibiting amplitude modulated over the orbital period. I will demonstrate why this tidal trapping occurs and will discuss how tidally trapped pulsations may be used for asteroseismology. Stellar oscillations are also excited by tidal forcing, leading to tidal synchronization and circularization. I will show compelling observational evidence that a resonance locking process operates in both planetary systems and stellar binaries such as heartbeat stars, driving synchronization that can be much more efficient than prior expectations. Finally, I will examine new discoveries of binary white dwarfs with sub-hour orbital periods, discussing implications for their formation, tidal physics, gravitational wave signals, and their impending demise.

This talk is part of the Astrophysics Seminars series.

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