Towards a Unified Picture of Compact Binary Formation and Evolution
Compact binaries comprise a wide variety of exotic systems that typically have short orbital periods and usually have experienced one or more episodes of mass transfer. The progenitors of these binaries and the channels through which they form have only been partially enumerated and obtaining the correct present-day populations has been very challenging. I will review some of the inter-relationships between the various types of systems and present the results of an extensive population synthesis study on the ensemble properties of present-day Cataclysmic Variables. Synthesizing the correct population of CVs (e.g., classical novae, supersoft X-ray sources) is absolutely required since they are the most important calibration standard for the formation of "higher order" binaries (e.g., ULXs, double neutron stars). Finally I will discuss the implications of our results for the formation of ultracompact binaries (periods < 1 hour) and the Type Ia supernova progenitor problem.
Date: Thursday, 11 November 2010 Time: 11:30 Where: Université de Montréal Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, Local D-460 Contact: Pierre Bergeron