Are superhumps good measures of the mass ratio for AM CVn systems?
Pearson, K. J. (2007) Are superhumps good measures of the mass ratio for AM CVn systems? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 379 (1). pp. 183-189. ISSN 0035-8711
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.11932.x
We extend recent work that included the effect of pressure forces to derive the precession rate of eccentric accretion discs in cataclysmic variables to the case of double degenerate systems. We find that the logical scaling of the pressure force in such systems results in predictions of unrealistically high primary masses. Using the prototype AM CVn as a calibrator for the magnitude of the effect, we find that there is no scaling that applies consistently to all the systems in the class. We discuss the reasons for the lack of a superhump period to mass ratio relationship analogous to that known for SU UMa systems and suggest that this is because these secondaries do not have a single valued mass-radius relationship. We highlight the unreliability of mass-ratios derived by applying the SU UMa expression to the AM CVn binaries.