Willems, B. and Kolb, U.
The population of wide binary millisecond pulsars.
Astronomische Nachrichten, 324(1-2)
We present the results of a binary population synthesis study of wide binary millisecond pulsars (BMSPs) forming through four different evolutionary channels. The majority of binary millisecond pulsars are found to descend from systems in which the most massive component undergoes a common-envelope phase prior to the supernova explosion leading to the birth of the neutron star.
The orbital period distributions of simulated samples of wide BMSPs are compared with the observed distribution of Galactic BMSPs for a variety of parameters describing the formation and evolution of binaries. The distribution functions typically show a short-period peak below 10 days and a long-period peak around 100 days. The observed distribution is best reproduced by models with highly non-conservative mass transfer, common-envelope efficiencies equal to or larger than unity, and no or moderate supernova kicks at the birth of the neutron star.
Only few systems are found with orbital periods longer than 200 days, irrespective of the accretion efficiency of neutron stars. This occurs as a result of the upper limit on the initial orbital periods beyond which the binary avoids the common-envelope phase prior to the supernova explosion of the primary.
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