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The effect of the magnetic field of the secondary star in dwarf novae

Pearson, K.J., Wynn, G.A. and King, A.R. (1997) The effect of the magnetic field of the secondary star in dwarf novae. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 288 (2). pp. 421-430. ISSN 0035-8711

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/mnras/288.2.421


We investigate the effect of a secondary star magnetic field on the accretion disc dynamics of dwarf novae. Simulations have been carried out with a particle code and a dipolar magnetic field structure. The magnetic field acts to remove angular momentum from the disc material, increasing the inward mass flow. This makes the accretion disc more centrally condensed, causing a reduction in the recurrence time for dwarf nova outbursts. We have produced Doppler tomograms and light curves which may be compared with observations. These tomograms are significantly different from those produced in the absence of a magnetic field on the secondary. We derive an upper limit to the magnetic moment of the secondary star in UGem of mu_2<2x10^32 A m^2. The magnetic truncation of the accretion disc produces resonance phenomena similar to those seen in the superoutbursts of SUUMa systems. While these have not been observed for systems like UGem, observations of the SUUMa systems provide us with a useful diagnostic of the disc-field interaction. We are able to place an upper limit on the magnetic moment of the secondary in ZCha of mu_2<1x10^30 A m^2.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:34525
Publisher:Oxford Journals

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