CCAPP Seminar: "Quadruple Systems: Hints on Supernova Formation" Xiao Fang (OSU)

June 4, 2018
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 11:30am to 12:30pm
McPherson 4054
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The origin of Type Ia Supernovae (SNe) is still not well understood. One of the most popular candidates is the binary white dwarf (WD) merger. However, it has long been realized that binary WD systems normally take extremely long time to merge via gravitational waves and it is still unclear whether WD mergers can fully account for the observed SN Ia rate. Recent effort has been devoted to the effects of introducing a distant tertiary to the binary system, which can induce high eccentricities of the binary WDs and possibly lead to direct collisions or more efficient energy dissipation. Alternatively, we investigate the long-term evolution of the hierarchical quadruple systems, i.e. WD binary with a binary companion, which are basically unexplored, yet they should be numerous. We explore their interesting dynamics and find that the fraction of reaching high eccentricities is largely enhanced, which hints on a higher WD merger rate than predicted from triple systems with the same set of secular and non-secular effects considered. Considering the population of quadruple stellar systems, the quadruple scenario might contribute significantly to the overall rate of Ia SNe.
 

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