Jason Nordhaus (Rochester)
Common Envelope Evolution
The diverse physical processes that occur in post-main-sequence binaries contain many open questions. Stellar, sub-stellar, or compact-object companions orbiting within ~10 AU of their host stars may strongly interact as the primary star evolves off the main sequence and the orbits destabilize. Such systems likely incur a common envelope phase, an important but brief channel in stellar evolution, that results in either the emergence of a short-period binary or the destruction of the companion (or the primary’s core). In this talk, I will highlight recent numerical and theoretical work on common envelopes.