August 11-15, 2014


High precision studies of white dwarfs in post common envelope binaries

Steven Parsons (Universidad de Valparaíso)

Tom Marsh (University of Warwick), Boris Gaensicke (University of Warwick), Matthias Schreiber (Universidad de Valparaiso)

White dwarfs in close, eclipsing binaries offer us the chance to measure their fundamental parameters (such as masses and radii) with very few assumptions and to very high precisions. Moreover, post common envelope systems are the only kind that allow us to study the full white dwarf mass range, from low-mass helium core white dwarfs, to white dwarfs with masses in excess of a solar mass. I will present high precision spectroscopic and photometric data for a large number of eclipsing systems and show how they test the white dwarf mass-radius relationship. I will also show that these high-precision studies can reveal interesting and unique systems (such as those with magnetic white dwarfs) that are difficult to detect otherwise.

Mode of presentation: oral