Dissertation Summary: White Dwarfs in Wide Binaries and the Age of the Galaxy

J. A. Smith
1998 Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific  
We present a photometric study of wide binaries with suspected white dwarf (WD) components. These systems were initially identified on the basis of their reduced proper motions and colors by W. J. Luyten (Proper Motion Survey with the Forty-Eight Inch Schmidt Telescope [Minneapolis: Univ. Minnesota Press, 1963-]) and H. L. Giclas et al. (Lowell Proper Motion Survey, Northern Hemisphere [Flagstaff: Lowell Obs., 1971], Lowell Proper Motion Survey, Southern Hemisphere [ Flagstaff: Lowell Obs.,
more » ... ]). These systems usually contain a WD and a main-sequence star; however, a few contain more than two components. We obtained BVRI CCD images for approximately 475 of the 512 systems in our sample. These systems were determined by a concurrent low-resolution spectroscopy program to contain about 325 relatively cool WDs. We use this sample to determine the WD luminosity function (WDLF) and, by inference, the minimum age of the Galaxy. The WDLF was constructed using the 1/V max technique
doi:10.1086/316236 fatcat:zbba367urvdz3pb7xvmpq744s4