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Published 1998 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Binaries in Globular Clusters


Binary stars in a globular cluster (hereafter, GC) may be primordial (i.e. formed along with the cluster), or the result of cluster dynamics. "Dynamical" binaries can result from conservative three-body encounters (e.g. Spitzer, 1987) if a third star can carry away enough kinetic energy to leave two others bound, or from dissipative two-body encounters, if two stars happen to pass within a few stellar radii of one other (Fabian, Pringle, & Rees, 1975). Such non-primordial systems are likely to be found primarily in evolved GC cores, both because conditions are more favorable for making them there, and because of mass segregation. Knowledge of the formation process allows reasonable estimates to be made of their mass and energy distributions. The initial spatial, mass, and energy distributions of primordial binaries, on the other hand, are largely unknown.

Additional Information

© 1998 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. SLWM's research has been supported by NASA grant NAGW-2559 and NSF grant AST 93-08005. CP's research on GCs is supported by NSF grant AST 96-19510. ESP's research has been supported by NASA grant NAG 5-2756 and NSF grant AST 96-18537.

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