Evolutionary Processes in Binary and Multiple Stars

Series: Cambridge Astrophysics (40)

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Binary systems of stars are as common as single stars. Stars evolve primarily by nuclear reactions in their interiors, but a star with a binary companion can also have its evolution influenced by the companion. Multiple star systems can exist stably for millions of years, but can ultimately become unstable as one star grows in radius until it engulfs another. This volume, first published in 2006, discusses the statistics of binary stars; the evolution of single stars; and several of the most important kinds of interaction between two (and even three or more) stars. Some of the interactions discussed are Roche-lobe overflow, tidal friction, gravitational radiation, magnetic activity driven by rapid rotation, stellar winds, magnetic braking and the influence of a distant third body on a close binary orbit. A series of mathematical appendices gives a concise but full account of the mathematics of these processes.