The Minimum period problem in CVs

Barker, J. and Kolb, U. (2006). The Minimum period problem in CVs. In: ASP Conference Proceedings: The Physics of Cataclysmic Variables and Related Objects, San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific.



We investigate if consequential angular momentum losses (CAML) or an intrinsic deformation of the donor star in CVs could increase the CV bounce period from the canonical theoretical value ~65 min to the observed value $P_{min} \approx77$ min, and if a variation of these effects in a CV population could wash out the theoretically predicted accumulation of systems near the minimum period (the period spike). We are able to construct suitably mixed CV model populations that a statisticial test cannot rule out as the parent population of the observed CV sample. However, the goodness of fit is never convincing, and always slightly worse than for a simple, flat period distribution. Generally, the goodness of fit is much improved if all CVs are assumed to form at long orbital periods. The weighting suggested by King, Schenker & Hameury (2002) does not constitute an improvment if a realistically shaped input period distribution is used.

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