Vol 16, No 8

The binding energy parameter for common envelope evolution

Chen Wang, Kun Jia, Xiang-Dong Li


Abstract The binding energy parameter λ plays a vital role in common envelope evolution. Though it is well known that λ takes different values for stars with different masses and varies during stellar evolution, it has been erroneously adopted as a constant in most population synthesis calculations. We have systematically calculated the values of λ for stars of masses 1 − 60 M⊙ by use of an updated stellar evolution code, taking into account the contribution from both gravitational energy and internal energy to the binding energy of the envelope. We adopt the criterion for the core-envelope boundary advocated by Ivanova. A new kind of λ with an enthalpy prescription is also investigated. We present fitting formulae for the calculated values of various kinds of λ, which can be used in future population synthesis studies.


Keywords binaries: general — stars: evolution — stars: mass-loss

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