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**Session 109 - Novae & Cataclysmic Variables.**

*Display session, Saturday, January 10*

*Exhibit Hall, *

## [109.07] Using Cataclysmic Variables as a Probe of the Mass Ratio Distribution in Zero-Age Main Sequence Binaries

*M. Politano (Ariz. St. U.), U. Kolb (U. Leicester)*
The distribution of mass ratios in zero-age main sequence
binaries (hereafter, the initial mass ratio distribution [IMRD]) is a
quantity which is poorly constrained observationally,
especially at somewhat extreme mass ratios (\ga 5). Theoretical
models of the cataclysmic variable (CV) population are quite
sensitive to the assumed IMRD in binaries.
In addition, CVs are predicted to form only
from progenitor binaries with mass ratios \ga 4. Consequently,
comparisons between the properties of theoretical models of the
CV population and the properties of
observational distributions of CVs may provide
useful constraints on the IMRD
in binaries with intermediate mass primaries (\la 10 M_odot)
and orbital periods in the range 10-1000 days.
In this paper, we discuss the results of such a comparative
study in which we have used a population
synthesis code which allows different IMRDs to be tested,
and a segmented IMRD function which allows the
relative effect of different initial mass ratio intervals
on the population to be investigated.

**Program
listing for Saturday**