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Session 44 - Double Stars.
Display session, Thursday, January 08
Exhibit Hall,

[44.10] Monte Carlo Simulations of Externally Illuminated Disks

J. L. Hoffman, B. A. Whitney (U. Wisconsin-Madison), K. Wood (CfA), K. H. Nordsieck (U. Wisconsin-Madison)

Since Monte Carlo radiative transfer methods provide straightforward numerical modeling of the interaction of light with matter in complex configurations, they are ideal tools for investigating accretion-disk systems. Most previous Monte Carlo treatments of disk scattering have considered the problem of a disk illuminated by a central source (e.g. Wood et al. 1996, Whitney and Hartmann 1992). In this study, we apply a Monte Carlo code to the case of a geometrically thick disk illuminated from outside, for example, by a binary companion to the disk's central star. The results may help decipher the structural complexities of binary systems such as Beta Lyrae, where it is unclear whether the light polarized by scattering off the accretion disk edge arises from the secondary star within the disk or the external primary star (Hoffman, Nordsieck, amp; Fox 1998, AJ, submitted).

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