Optical pulsations in AM Her systems. Revision 1

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The AM Her systems are widely believed to be mass transfer binaries containing a white dwarf primary accreting from a red dwarf secondary. The magnetic field of the white dwarf is so strong that it prevents the formation of an accretion disk and funnels the accretion flow into the polar caps of the white dwarf. The accreting matter is decelerated from free fall by passage through a standoff shock located somewhat above the surface of the white dwarf. The hot postshock gas radiates hard x-rays and electron cyclotron emission and cools until it settles onto the photosphere. Middleditch (1982) reported ... continued below

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Pages: 11

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Langer, S.H. June 1, 1985.

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The AM Her systems are widely believed to be mass transfer binaries containing a white dwarf primary accreting from a red dwarf secondary. The magnetic field of the white dwarf is so strong that it prevents the formation of an accretion disk and funnels the accretion flow into the polar caps of the white dwarf. The accreting matter is decelerated from free fall by passage through a standoff shock located somewhat above the surface of the white dwarf. The hot postshock gas radiates hard x-rays and electron cyclotron emission and cools until it settles onto the photosphere. Middleditch (1982) reported the discovery of a broad feature between 0.4 and 0.8 Hz in the power spectrum of AN UMa and E1405-451. Observations of AM Her and of AN UMa in its faint state did not show similar features. This feature was tentatively identified with the instability discovered by LCS, but it was clear that improved observations and models were both required to confirm the identification. Recent observations by Larsson (1985) confirm the presence of the feature in the power spectrum of E1405-451 and show clearly visible pulsations in the light curves as well as demonstrating that the pulsation is predominantly in red light. As a result it seems worthwhile to present theoretical predictions for optical pulsations. The model of the system is described, emphasizing the general physics of the problem at the expense of details about the numerical aspects. Some of the expected properties of the optical emission are presented, and the observations and model improvements that are of the most immediate interest are suggested. 16 refs., 4 figs.

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Pages: 11

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NTIS, PC A02/MF A01; 1.

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  • 9. North American workshop on cataclysmic variables, Seattle, WA, USA, 24 Jun 1985

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  • Other: DE85017280
  • Report No.: UCRL-92823-Rev.1
  • Report No.: CONF-8506143-4-Rev.1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5374385
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1064260

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  • June 1, 1985

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  • Feb. 4, 2018, 10:51 a.m.

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  • April 26, 2018, 7:29 p.m.

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Langer, S.H. Optical pulsations in AM Her systems. Revision 1, article, June 1, 1985; [Livermore,] California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1064260/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.