A population synthesis study of high-mass X-ray binaries

James L. Terman*, Ronald E. Taam, Craig O. Savage

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The formation of high-mass X-ray binary systems is followed using a statistical Monte Carlo approach. The evolution of an initial distribution of binary systems is followed through mass transfer and mass loss or common envelope evolution to the supernova phase. The population synthesis is explored as a function of the form and magnitude of the kick velocity associated with asymmetric supernova explosions, the specific angular momentum of the matter lost from the system, the mass ratio above which the system enters into the common envelope phase, and the common envelope efficiency. To account for the observed systems with B-type companions in the orbital period-eccentricity plane, the results of the study strongly suggest that asymmetric explosions are required. Furthermore, the existence of systems with Be-type companions, in conjunction with the above, indicates that the specific angular momentum of matter lost (relative to that of the binary) during the mass transfer/ loss phase is high (∼5).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-123
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 11 1998


  • Binaries: close
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: neutron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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