Characterizing Accreting Double White Dwarf Binaries with the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna and Gaia

Katelyn Breivik, Kyle Kremer, Michael Bueno, Shane L. Larson, Scott Coughlin, Vassiliki Kalogera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


We demonstrate a method to fully characterize mass-transferring double white dwarf (DWD) systems with a helium-rich (He) white dwarf (WD) donor based on the mass-radius (M-R) relationship for He WDs. Using a simulated Galactic population of DWDs, we show that donor and accretor masses can be inferred for up to ∼60 systems observed by both Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and Gaia. Half of these systems will have mass constraints Δ MD ≲ 0.2 Mo and Δ MA ≲ 2.3 Mo. We also show how the orbital frequency evolution due to astrophysical processes and gravitational radiation can be decoupled from the total orbital frequency evolution for up to ∼50 of these systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL1
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 2018



  • accretion, accretion disks
  • astrometry
  • binaries: close
  • gravitational waves
  • methods: numerical
  • white dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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