Vol 18, No 5

Investigations into the thermal non-equilibrium of W UMa-type contact binaries

Xiao Xiong, Liang Liu, Sheng-Bang Qian


Abstract Traditionally, some physical details (e.g., magnetic braking, energy transfer, angular momentum loss, etc.) have to be taken into consideration during investigations into the evolution of contact binaries. However, the real evolutionary processes which usually contain several of these physical mechanisms are very complicated as a result of strong interaction between components. To avoid dealing with these factors, a linear relationship is applied to the temperatures of components. It is found that the higher the mass ratio (M2/M1) of a contact system, the weaker the deviation from thermal equilibrium. On this basis, a variation trend of fill-out factor (f) changing with mass ratio can be inferred, which is consistent with observations. Moreover, if we stick to this point of view, it should be natural that the number of semi-detached binaries in the predicted broken-contact phase of relaxation oscillations is less than the number in the contact phase.


Keywords stars: binaries: close — stars: binaries: eclipsing — stars: evolution

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