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research topics
 research topics

Scientific research

My main fields of interest are the internal structure and evolution of stars and, in particular, the stucture and evolution of (mass transferring) linkPfeil.gifcompact binaries, i.e. of double stars consisting of at least one compact star (either a linkPfeil.gifwhite dwarf, a linkPfeil.gif neutron star or a linkPfeil.gifblack hole) such as linkPfeil.gifcataclysmic variables, linkPfeil.giflow-mass X-ray binaries, other types of linkPfeil.gifX-ray binaries, linkPfeil.gifbinary (millisecond) pulsars, linkPfeilExtern.gifsupersoft X-ray sources, etc. In addition to the study of the formation and evolution of such binaries I have also studied the observed collective properties of the aforementioned objects by means of population synthesis techniques which also take into account, as far as possible, the relevant observational selection effects. My interest in the collective properties of compact binaries is also one of the main reasons why I have been (and still am) tracking the basic observational data of cataclysmic binaries, low-mass X-ray binaries and related objects. As a service to the community (since almost 25 years) I have made these data available in print or online in the form of the "linkPfeil.gifCatalogue of cataclysmic binaries, low-mass X-ray binaries and related objects". In the same context I have also contributed data to the online "linkPfeilExtern.gifCatalog and Atlas of Cataclysmic Variables".

Other topics of interest are:
  • how to properly calculate mass transfer in binary systems and the study of the physical and numerical stability of mass transfer
  • the physics of accretion discs, the disc instability model for dwarf nova outbursts and its application to low-mass X-ray binaries
  • the formation of millisecond pulsars
  • the consequences of irradiating the mass losing star with accretion luminosity coming from the near vicinity of the compact star on the long-term evolution of compact binaries

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last modified: 2007-9-14