Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 131, Issue 1–2, pp 549–555 | Cite as

The period and magnetic field distributions of cataclysmic variables: Implications for their evolution

  • G. D. Schmidt
  • J. Liebert
Magnetic Cataclysmic Systems


Comparison of the period distributions of various classes of CVs confirms an extreme bias of the synchronous AM Her systems toward short orbital periods, while the DQ Her systems do not differ significantly from the distribution of non-magnetic systems. This suggests either strong selection effects or enhanced evolution of the AM Her systems. There is as yet no obvious bimodality in either the magnetic field distributions of isolated white dwards or of CV primaries. However, clear differences between the two exist: the strongest being that magnetic primaries are overrepresented among short period CVs by more than an order of magnitude in comparison to the field white dwarfs.


Magnetic Field Orbital Period Field Distribution Selection Effect Strong Selection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. D. Schmidt
    • 1
  • J. Liebert
    • 1
  1. 1.Steward ObservatoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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