AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 75. The Binary Star Community
Display, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 10:00am-6:30pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[75.03] Numerical Simulations of Dynamical Mass Transfer in Binaries

P. M. Motl, J. Frank, J. E. Tohline (Louisiana State University)

We will present results from our ongoing research project to simulate dynamically unstable mass transfer in near contact binaries with mass ratios different from one. We employ a fully three-dimensional self-consistent field technique to generate synchronously rotating polytropic binaries. With our self-consistent field code we can create equilibrium binaries where one component is, by radius, within about 99 of filling its Roche lobe for example. These initial configurations are evolved using a three-dimensional, Eulerian hydrodynamics code. We make no assumptions about the symmetry of the subsequent flow and the entire binary system is evolved self-consistently under the influence of its own gravitational potential. For a given mass ratio and polytropic index for the binary components, mass transfer via Roche lobe overflow can be predicted to be stable or unstable through simple theoretical arguments. The validity of the approximations made in the stability calculations are tested against our numerical simulations. We acknowledge support from the U.S. National Science Foundation through grants AST-9720771, AST-9528424, and DGE-9355007. This research has been supported, in part, by grants of high-performance computing time on NPACI facilities at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the Texas Advanced Computing Center and through the PET program of the NAVOCEANO DoD Major Shared Resource Center in Stennis, MS.

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