Binaries and Globular Cluster Dynamics [chapter]

Frederic A. Rasio, John M. Fregeau, Kriten J. Joshi
2001 Astrophysics and Space Science Library  
We summarize the results of recent theoretical work on the dynamical evolution of globular clusters containing primordial binaries. Even a very small initial binary fraction (e.g., 10%) can play a key role in supporting a cluster against gravothermal collapse for many relaxation times. Inelastic encounters between binaries and single stars or other binaries provide a very significant energy source for the cluster. These dynamical interactions also lead to the production of large numbers of
more » ... rge numbers of exotic systems such as ultracompact X-ray binaries, recycled radio pulsars, double degenerate systems, and blue stragglers. Our work is based on a new parallel supercomputer code implementing Henon's Monte Carlo method for simulating the dynamical evolution of dense stellar systems in the Fokker-Planck approximation. This new code allows us to calculate very accurately the evolution of a cluster containing a realistic number of stars (N ~ 10^5 - 10^6) in typically a few hours to a few days of computing time. The discrete, star-by-star representation of the cluster in the simulation makes it possible to treat naturally a number of important processes, including single and binary star evolution, all dynamical interactions of single stars and binaries, and tidal interactions with the Galaxy.
doi:10.1007/978-94-015-9723-4_28 fatcat:mtkgskhngvagzaepcg6wjcjm6e