Volume 566, June 2014
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||19 June 2014|
Monte Carlo simulations of post-common-envelope white dwarf + main sequence binaries: comparison with the SDSS DR7 observed sample
1 Departament de Física Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, c/Esteve Terrades 5, 08860 Castelldefels, Spain
2 Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia, c/Gran Capità 2–4, Edif. Nexus 104, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
3 Departamento de Física y Astronomía, Universidad de Vaparaíso, Avda. Gran Bretaña 1111, Casilla 5030, Valparaíso, Chile
4 Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, 100871 Beijing, PR China
5 Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg, Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, UMR 7550, 11 rue de l’Université, 67000 Strasbourg, France
6 Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Received: 14 November 2013
Accepted: 17 April 2014
Context. Detached white dwarf + main sequence (WD+MS) systems represent the simplest population of post-common envelope binaries (PCEBs). Since the ensemble properties of this population carries important information about the characteristics of the common-envelope (CE) phase, it deserves close scrutiny. However, most population synthesis studies do not fully consider the effects of the observational selection biases of the samples used to compare with the theoretical simulations.
Aims. Here we present the results of a set of detailed Monte Carlo simulations of the population of WD+MS binaries in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7.
Methods. We used up-to-date stellar evolutionary models, a complete treatment of the Roche lobe overflow episode, and a full implementation of the orbital evolution of the binary systems. Moreover, in our treatment we took the selection criteria and all the known observational biases into account.
Results. Our population synthesis study allowed us to make a meaningful comparison with the available observational data. In particular, we examined the CE efficiency, the possible contribution of internal energy, and the initial mass ratio distribution (IMRD) of the binary systems. We find that our simulations correctly reproduce the properties of the observed distribution of WD+MS PCEBs. In particular, we find that once the observational biases are carefully considered, the distribution of orbital periods and of masses of the WD and MS stars can be correctly reproduced for several choices of the free parameters and different IMRDs, although models in which a moderate fraction (≤10%) of the internal energy is used to eject the CE and in which a low value of CE efficiency is used (≤0.3) seem to fit the observational data better. We also find that systems with He-core WDs are over-represented in the observed sample, because of selection effects.
Conclusions. Although our study represents an important step forward in modeling the population of WD+MS PCEBs, the still scarce observational data preclude deriving a precise value of the several free parameters used to compute the CE phase without ambiguity or ascertaining which the correct IMRD might be.
Key words: white dwarfs / binaries: general / stars: statistics / Galaxy: stellar content
© ESO, 2014
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.