Formation and evolution of compact binaries in globular clusters - I. Binaries with white dwarfs

N. Ivanova*, C. O. Heinke, F. A. Rasio, R. E. Taam, K. Belczynski, J. Fregeau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


In this paper, the first of a series, we study the stellar dynamical and evolutionary processes leading to the formation of compact binaries containing white dwarfs (WDs) in dense globular clusters (GCs). We examine the processes leading to the creation of X-ray binaries such as cataclysmic variables (CVs) and AM CVn systems. Using numerical simulations, we identify the dominant formation channels and we predict the expected numbers and characteristics of detectable systems, emphasizing how the cluster sources differ from the field population. We explore the dependence of formation rates on cluster properties and we explain in particular why the distribution of CVs has only a weak dependence on cluster density. We also discuss the frequency of dwarf nova outbursts in GCs and their connection with moderately strong WD magnetic fields. We examine the rates of Type la supernovae (SNe la) via both single and double degenerate channels in clusters and we argue that those rates may contribute to the total SN la rate in elliptical galaxies. Considering coalescing WD binaries, we discuss possible constraints on the common envelope evolution of their progenitors and we derive theoretical expectations for gravitational wave detection by Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1059
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


  • Binaries: close
  • Binaries: general
  • Globular clusters: general
  • Stellar dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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