August 11-15, 2014


Constraining the initial-final mass relationship using white dwarf binaries

Silvia Catalan (University of Warwick)

Boris Gaensicke (University of Warwick), Tom Marsh (University of Warwick), Jonathan Girven (University of Warwick), Roberto Raddi (University of Warwick)

Traditionally, the initial-final mass relationship has been proved using open clusters, but these relatively young populations cannot constrain the low mass end of this relation. In this work we show how wide binaries comprised by two white dwarfs can be used to constrain this problem by measuring their cooling ages from optical spectra. The best constraints come from wide binaries containing white dwarfs with very different cooling ages (i.e. very different masses). The cooling age difference between the two white dwarfs provides an upper limit for the progenitor mass of the younger object. We will show our results based in our search of white dwarf binaries in SDSS DR9. We will also discuss the incidence of magnetic white dwarfs among wide double-degenerate binaries, and discuss possible implications on the origin of magnetic white dwarfs.

Mode of presentation: oral