, Volume 147, Issue 2, pp 219-227

The Schoenberg-Chandrasekhar limit: A polytropic approximation

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The existence of a maximum isothermal core mass fraction (q max), the Schoenberg-Chandrasekhar limit, is one of the ‘classic’ results from the theory of stellar structure. This limit can be demonstrated through a simplified composite polytrope model in which an isothermal core is surrounded by ann=1 polytrope envelope. While this model underestimatesq mas by ∼25% in the homogeneous case, it is accurate to within 5% in the more realistic inhomogeneous situation.