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Magnetic Torque Induced High/Low Accretion States in AM Herculis Binaries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 April 2016

Warren M. Sparks
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
Steve B. Howell
Affiliation:
University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA
Min Huang
Affiliation:
Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085, USA
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Abstract

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The AM Herculis binaries (AM Hers) have high and low accretion states. A model is proposed in which the white dwarf’s rotation acts like an angular momentum storage battery for the binary orbit. The accreted material from the Roche lobe-overflowing secondary charges up this battery, whereas the magnetic torque of the white dwarf on the secondary discharges it back into the binary’s orbit. The Roche lobe’s volume becomes alternately larger and smaller than the secondary’s volume. This alternation causes the mass flow to vary between a high and low rate.

Type
Part 15. Poster Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Astronomical Society of the Pacific 1997

References

Cropper, M. 1990, Space Sci. Rev., 54, 195 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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