Willems, B. and Kolb, U.
The Orbital period distribution of wide binary millisecond pulsars.
In: Binary Radio Pulsars, 11-17 January 2004, Aspen, Colorado, USA.
We present results of a binary population synthesis study on the orbital period distribution of wide binary millisecond pulsars forming through four evolutionary channels. In three of the channels, the progenitor of the millisecond pulsar undergoes a common envelope phase prior to the supernova explosion which gives birth to the neutron star. In the fourth channel, the primary avoids the common-envelope phase and forms a neutron star when it ascends the asymptotic giant branch. The four formation channels yield an orbital period distribution which typically shows a short-period peak below 10 days, a long-period peak around 100 days, and a cut-off near 200 days. The agreement with the orbital period distribution of observed binary millisecond pulsars in the Galactic disk is best when the common-envelope ejection is efficient, the mass-transfer phase responsible for spinning up the pulsar is highly non-conservative, and no or moderate supernova kicks are imparted to neutron stars at birth.
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