Superhumps: confronting theory with observation
Pearson, K.J. (2006) Superhumps: confronting theory with observation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 371 (1). pp. 235-244. ISSN 0035-8711
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10631.x
We review the theory and observations related to the "superhump" precession of eccentric accretion discs in close binary systems. We agree with earlier work, although for different reasons, that the discrepancy between observation and dynamical theory implies that the effect of pressure in the disc cannot be neglected. We extend earlier work that investigates this effect to include the correct expression for the radius at which resonant orbits occur. Using analytic expressions for the accretion disc structure, we derive a relationship between the period excess and mass ratio with the pressure effects included. This is compared to the observed data, recently derived results for detailed integration of the disc equations and the equivalent empirically derived relations and used to predict values for the mass ratio based on measured values of the period excess for 88 systems.