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Massive X-ray Binaries: Their Physics and Evolution

  • W. Sutantyo

Abstract

We review various aspects of the evolutionary history of massive X-ray binaries. It is expected that moderately massive close binaries evolve to Be X-ray binaries, while very massive systems evolve to standard X-ray binaries.

The compact objects are formed through supernova explosions. The fairly low galactic latitudes of those systems indicate that the explosion should, in general, not have accelerated the system to a velocity larger than ~50 km s−1 This implies that the mass of the exploding stars is in general less than ~5 to 6M .

After the explosion, tidal forces will circularize the orbit of short period systems. Even if the tidal evolution has been completed, the expansion of the optical star during the course of its evolution will continuously disturb the stability of the orbit. Short period systems with large mass ratio may eventually become tidally unstable. Cen X-3 may be an example of such a system. The predicted rate of the orbital period decrease of Cen X-3 is in agreement with the observed rate.

A way to represent the rotational and magnetic evolution of neutron stars in close binary systems is presented. The observed distribution of the pulsation periods of X-ray pulsars with Be companions is consistent with initial magnetic fields of 1012-1013 G of the neutron stars. We suggest that the fast X-ray pulsars 4U 0115 + 63 and A 0538 − 66 are young neutron stars, while Cen X-3 and SMC X-l are ‘recycled’ pulsars.

The evolutionary relationship between massive X-ray binaries, binary pulsars, and millisecond pulsars is also discussed.

Keywords

Orbital Period Neutron Star Stellar Wind Radio Pulsar Supernova Explosion 
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 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Sutantyo
    • 1
  1. 1.Bosscha Observatory, Department of AstronomyInstitute of Technology of BandungIndonesia

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