Radial Velocity Measurements of White Dwarfs

  • Maxted P
  • Marsh T
  • Moran C
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Abstract

We present 594 radial velocity measurements for 71 white dwarfs
obtained during our search for binary white dwarfs and not reported
elsewhere. We identify three excellent candidate binaries, which
require further observations to confirm our preliminary estimates
for their orbital periods, and one other good candidate. We investigate
whether our data support the existence of a population of single,
low-mass (to explain using standard models of stellar evolution. We find that
a model with a mixed single/binary population is at least ~20 times
more likely to explain our data than a pure binary population. This
result depends on assumed period distributions for binary LMWDs,
assumed companion masses and several other factors. Therefore, the
evidence in favour of the existence of a population of single LMWDs
is not sufficient, in our opinion, to firmly establish the existence
of such a population, but does suggest that extended observations
of LMWDs to obtain a more convincing result would be worthwhile.

Author-supplied keywords

  • binaries
  • close
  • spectroscopic
  • white dwarfs

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Authors

  • P. F. L. Maxted

  • T. R. Marsh

  • C. K. J. Moran

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