In the Science for Everyone series we now go to a journey In The World of Binary Stars by V. M. Lipunov. This book discusses many things about the binary stars and the exotic things that they can lead to. White dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, X-ray pulsars you name it and this book has it. In all it gives you a very substantial overview of the field of binary stars. A must read for all the astro-enthusiasts: Clear Skies!
Binary stars contain some of the most exotic objects in the sky. This is an exciting account about binary stars and the way black holes, white dwarfs, and neutron stars can evolve in them. It is, moreover, a short history of the ideas and discoveries that led to our current understanding of this fascinating heavenly object the binary.
This book was translated from the Russian by Alexander A. Kandaurov and was first published by Mir in 1989. Thanks to hawa-ka-jhonka for making this book accessible.
Update: Jan 2020
The book has following contents:
CHAPTER 1. WHAT IS A BINARY STAR? 10
Kepler’s Laws (12).
Motion in a Potential Well (17).
About the Centre of Mass (25).
Who’s Chief in a Binary? (28)
Let Us Determine the Orbit of a Binary (30).
Test Particles in a Binary (33).
Stars’ Shape (40).
Who Was Right? (43)
Formation of Binaries (45).
CHAPTER 2. ALGOL PARADOX 53
Whose Light Is “Louder”? (54)
Light Curve (56).
What Can an Algol-Type Light Curve Tell Us? (61)
Doppler Effect (64).
Radial Velocity Curve (71).
Why Are Stars So Different? (77)
Finally, a Paradox (84).
Changing Roles (86).
CHAPTER 3. LIVING APART TOGETHER
In 40 Minutes Only (89).
Getting Hot by Cooling (93).
As Little As 30 Million Years (96).
But for Quantum Mechanics (99).
Nuclear Evolution (101).
Fleeing the Main Sequence (106).
White Dwarfs (110).
Neutron Stars (116).
Black Holes (123).
Ancestors and Descendants (127).
CHAPTER 4. FIRST EXCHANGE 130
John Goodrike Again (130).
The Spectrum of α Lyrae (135).
Gravity Wind (137).
A Peculiar device (143).
A Strait-Jacket for a Star (147).
The Second Puzzle of β Lyrae (149).
After the Exchange (151).
The Story Will Be Continued (156).
How to Count Stars (157).
CHAPTER 5. MASSIVE X-RAY BINARY STARS 161
“M with a Dot” (161).
“Brighter Than a Thousand Suns” (167).
In the Stellar Wind (181).
How an X-ray Pulsar Works (185).
Why Neutron Stars? (190)
Cygnus X-1 and Other Black Holes (198).
Back to the Scenario (202).
CHAPTER 6. DWARF BINARY STARS 206
Pussy, Pussy, Hercules X-1 (207).
Novae and Recurrent Novae (215).
U Geminorum Stars (224).
Those Supernovae That Are So Much Alike (238).
X-ray Bursters (24t).
But for General Relativity (247).
CHAPTER 7. COSMIC MIRACLE 250
Moving Four Ways At Once (253).
To Meet Again (256).
Why Two? (260)
A Kinematic Model (263).
Something Familiar (270).
Supercritical Accretion (273).
The “Nightmare”of the Second Exchange (281).
CHAPTER 8. WANDERERS 285
“Single” Wolf-Hayet Stars (291).
The Second Explosion (298).
Binary Radio Pulsars (302).
GLARING PEAKS 313
Summing Up (315).
Evolution Squared (319).