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The Formation of Cataclysmic Variables: The Influence of Nova Eruptions

Nelemans, G. and Siess, L. and Repetto, S. and Toonen, S. and Phinney, E. S. (2016) The Formation of Cataclysmic Variables: The Influence of Nova Eruptions. Astrophysical Journal, 817 (1). Art. No. 69. ISSN 0004-637X.

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The theoretical and observed populations of pre-cataclysmic variables are dominated by systems with low-mass white dwarfs (WDs), while the WD masses in cataclysmic variables (CVs) are typically high. In addition, the space density of CVs is found to be significantly lower than in the theoretical models. We investigate the influence of nova outbursts on the formation and initial evolution of CVs. In particular, we calculate the stability of the mass transfer in the case where all of the material accreted on the WD is lost in classical novae and part of the energy to eject the material comes from a common-envelope-like interaction with the companion. In addition, we study the effect of an asymmetry in the mass ejection that may lead to small eccentricities in the orbit. We find that a common-envelope-like ejection significantly decreases the stability of the mass transfer, particularly for low-mass WDs. Similarly, the influence of asymmetric mass loss can be important for short-period systems and even more so for low-mass WDs; however, this influence likely disappears long before the next nova outburst due to orbital circularization. In both cases the mass-transfer rates increase, which may lead to observable (and perhaps already observed) consequences for systems that do survive to become CVs. However, a more detailed investigation of the interaction between nova ejecta and the companion and the evolution of slightly eccentric CVs is needed before definite conclusions can be drawn.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Repetto, S.0000-0001-5029-0059
Additional Information:© 2016 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 October 9; accepted 2015 November 24; published 2016 January 22. We thank Ken Shen as well as Matthias Schreiber and the other participants of the New York CV workshop for their inspiration and helpful discussions. E.S.P. and G.N. thank the Radboud Excellence Initiative for supporting E.S.P.'s stay at Radboud University. L.S. is Senior FNRS Associate.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Radboud UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:binaries: close – novae, cataclysmic variables – stars: evolution
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160303-160035545
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Official Citation:G. Nelemans et al 2016 ApJ 817 69
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65062
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Mar 2016 17:39
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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