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
Thomas M. Tauris is professor of theoretical astrophysics at Aalborg University. Edward P. J. van den Heuvel is emeritus professor of astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels. His books include Accretion-Driven Stellar X-ray Sources, Interacting Binaries, and X-ray Binaries.
“Physics of Binary Star Evolution contains a wealth of information not gathered together anyplace else.”—Virginia Trimble, former president, Commission on Binary and Multiple Star Systems of the International Astronomical Union
“Tauris and van den Heuvel draw on their decades of innovation and experience in binary star astrophysics to provide a definitive book on the subject. Physics of Binary Star Evolution starts with essentials for every astronomy student, while later chapters meet the needs of both beginning and advanced researchers. It features numerous exercises suitable for both the classroom and self-study.”—E. Sterl Phinney, California Institute of Technology
“Stellar astronomy is undergoing a renaissance with binary stars leading the way. This book will become the standard book for graduate classes and at the same time will serve as the gateway for those interested in binary star research.”—Shri Kulkarni, California Institute of Technology
“This is the advanced-level textbook that I have long been waiting for, written by absolute authorities in the field. I certainly recommend Physics of Binary Star Evolution to students and anyone who wishes to familiarize themselves with the exciting phenomena of binary systems.”—Selma E. de Mink, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
“This is a beautifully presented guide to the evolution of binary stars. Two giants of the field take us on an exciting journey through the theoretical and observational landscape, spiced up with tidbits of history and accompanied by illustrations and problems. The emphasis on massive binaries, including neutron stars and black holes, will be particularly useful to newcomers to binary evolution arriving from emerging fields such as gravitational-wave astronomy, while old hands will appreciate the authors’ unique perspectives.”—Ilya Mandel, Monash University
“An essential textbook for any modern astrophysicist. This comprehensive book provides a much-needed update to the incredibly rich topic of binary stellar astrophysics, showing how the physics underlying interacting and merging stars leads to an incredibly diverse array of observable phenomena, including supernovae, black holes, and gravitational waves. It is sure to be an instant classic.”—James Fuller, California Institute of Technology
“Written by recognized leaders in the field, this book covers a vast range of topics in great depth. The combination of binary star evolution, accretion physics, and the observational side of X-ray binaries in a single volume is unique.”—Andrew Norton, Open University