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Testing the white dwarf mass-radius relationship with eclipsing binaries

Parsons, SG and Gansicke, BT and Marsh, TR and Ashley, RP and Bours, MCP and Breedt, E and Burleigh, MR and Copperwheat, CM and Dhillon, VS and Green, M and Hardy, LK and Hermes, JJ and Irawati, P and Kerry, P and Littlefair, SP and McAllister, MJ and Rattanasoon, S and Rebassa-Mansergas, A and Sahman, DI and Schreiber, MR (2017) Testing the white dwarf mass-radius relationship with eclipsing binaries. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 470 (4). pp. 4473-4492. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

We present high-precision, model-independent, mass and radius measurements for 16 white dwarfs in detached eclipsing binaries and combine these with previously published data to test the theoretical white dwarf mass–radius relationship. We reach a mean precision of 2.4 per cent in mass and 2.7 per cent in radius, with our best measurements reaching a precision of 0.3 per cent in mass and 0.5 per cent in radius. We find excellent agreement between the measured and predicted radii across a wide range of masses and temperatures. We also find the radii of all white dwarfs with masses less than 0.48 M⊙ to be fully consistent with helium core models, but they are on average 9 per cent larger than those of carbon–oxygen core models. In contrast, white dwarfs with masses larger than 0.52 M⊙ all have radii consistent with carbon–oxygen core models. Moreover, we find that all but one of the white dwarfs in our sample have radii consistent with possessing thick surface hydrogen envelopes (10−5 ≥ MH/MWD ≥ 10−4), implying that the surface hydrogen layers of these white dwarfs are not obviously affected by common envelope evolution.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2017 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2017 11:32
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 11:32
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stx1522
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7392

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