AAS 196th Meeting, June 2000
Session 45. Cataclysmic Variable Stars, Old and Young
Display, Wednesday, June 7, 2000, 10:00am-7:00pm, Empire Hall South

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[45.07] Model Accretion Streams in Polars

J.L. Cash (University of Wyoming), S.B. Howell (Planetary Science Institute)

We will present the results of our models and numerical simulations of the accretion streams in magnetic cataclysmic variables, also know as polars. Our models predict the density structure of the ballistic stream, the detailed shape and structure of the coupling region, and the shape of the accretion region on the white dwarf surface for a given set of system parameters. This information on the accretion stream is important for comparision to and interpretation of observational data on polars, and will allow observers to determine the basic system parameters of a polar from model fitting. We are using a 3-D SPH algorithm for the ballistic portion of the stream model and an abrupt magnetic coupling condition which marks the transition to the magnetically confined portion of the stream. The 3-D SPH algorithm allows us to model the stream without requiring any assumed symmetry in the stream's geometry or density structure, which is a great improvement over previous models. Indeed our results indicate the coupling regions do contain asymmetries not previously modeled.

This work has been supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming PASS Center.

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