Physics & Astronomy

Physics of Binary Star Evolution: From Stars to X-ray Binaries and Gravitational Wave Sources

A graduate-level textbook on the astrophysics of binary star systems and their evolution


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Published (US):
Jun 20, 2023
Published (UK):
Aug 15, 2023
6.12 x 9.25 in.
350 color illus.
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Physics of Binary Star Evolution is an up-to-date textbook on the astrophysics and evolution of binary star systems. Theoretical astrophysicists Thomas Tauris and Edward van den Heuvel cover a wide range of phenomena and processes, including mass transfer and ejection, common envelopes, novae and supernovae, X-ray binaries, millisecond radio pulsars, and gravitational wave (GW) sources, and their links to stellar evolution.

The authors walk through the observed properties and evolution of different types of binaries, with special emphasis on those containing compact objects (neutron stars, black holes, and white dwarfs). Attention is given to the formation mechanisms of GW sources—merging double neutron stars and black holes as well as ultra-compact GW binaries hosting white dwarfs—and to the progenitors of these sources and how they are observed with radio telescopes, X-ray satellites, and GW detectors (LIGO, Virgo, KAGRA, Einstein Telescope, Cosmic Explorer, and LISA). Supported by illustrations, equations, and exercises, Physics of Binary Star Evolution combines theory and observations to guide readers through the wonders of a field that will play a central role in modern astrophysics for decades to come.

  • 465 equations, 47 tables, and 350+ figures
  • More than 80 exercises (analytical, numerical, and computational)
  • Over 2,500 extensive, up-to-date references