The formation of low-mass double white dwarfs through an initial phase of stable non-conservative mass transfer

T. E. Woods, Natalia Ivanova, Monique Van Sluys, Semyon Chaichenets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Although many double white dwarfs (DWDs) have been observed, the evolutionary channel by which they are formed from low-mass/long-period red-giant-main-sequence (RG-MS) binaries remains uncertain. The canonical explanations involve some variant of double common-envelope (CE) evolution, however it has been found that such a mechanism cannot produce the observed distribution. We present a model for the initial episode of mass transfer (MT) in RG-MS binaries, and demonstrate that their evolution into double white dwarfs need not arise through a double-CE process, as long as the initial primary's core mass (M d,c) does not exceed 0.46M . Instead, the first episode of dramatic mass loss may be stable, non-conservative MT. We find a lower bound on the fraction of transferred mass that must be lost from the system in order to provide for MT, and demonstrate the feasibility of this channel in producing observed low-mass (with M d,c<0.46M ) DWD systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Binaries - In Celebration of Ron Webbink's 65th Birthday
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Binaries: In Celebration of Ron Webbink's 65th Birthday - Mykonos, Greece
Duration: 22 Jun 201025 Jun 2010


ConferenceInternational Conference on Binaries: In Celebration of Ron Webbink's 65th Birthday


  • Binary Evolution
  • Double White Dwarfs

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