Vol. 16 (2013) > lrr-2013-4

doi: 10.12942/lrr-2013-4
Living Rev. Relativity 16 (2013), 4

Relativistic Binaries in Globular Clusters

1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Texas at Brownsville, Brownsville, TX, U.S.A.
2 Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstraße 12-14, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany

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Article Abstract

Galactic globular clusters are old, dense star systems typically containing 10^4 – 10^6 stars. As an old population of stars, globular clusters contain many collapsed and degenerate objects. As a dense population of stars, globular clusters are the scene of many interesting close dynamical interactions between stars. These dynamical interactions can alter the evolution of individual stars and can produce tight binary systems containing one or two compact objects. In this review, we discuss theoretical models of globular cluster evolution and binary evolution, techniques for simulating this evolution that leads to relativistic binaries, and current and possible future observational evidence for this population. Our discussion of globular cluster evolution will focus on the processes that boost the production of tight binary systems and the subsequent interaction of these binaries that can alter the properties of both bodies and can lead to exotic objects. Direct N-body integrations and Fokker–Planck simulations of the evolution of globular clusters that incorporate tidal interactions and lead to predictions of relativistic binary populations are also discussed. We discuss the current observational evidence for cataclysmic variables, millisecond pulsars, and low-mass X-ray binaries as well as possible future detection of relativistic binaries with gravitational radiation.

Keywords: Binary systems, Pulsars, Gravitational wave sources, Globular clusters, Accretion disks, Black holes

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Article Citation

Since a Living Reviews in Relativity article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Matthew J. Benacquista and Jonathan M. B. Downing,
"Relativistic Binaries in Globular Clusters",
Living Rev. Relativity 16,  (2013),  4. URL (cited on <date>):

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2002-2
Title Relativistic Binaries in Globular Clusters
Author Matthew J. Benacquista
Date accepted 28 January 2002, published 20 February 2002
Date accepted , published 5 December 2003
Changes Section 5.3.3: Correction of typographical error. For detailed description see here .
UPDATE http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2006-2
Title Relativistic Binaries in Globular Clusters
Author Matthew J. Benacquista
Date accepted 9 January 2006, published 7 February 2006
Changes Minor revisions to Sections 1, 2, and 4.
Substantial additions to Sections 3 (to incorporate new observations) and 5 (to include new population synthesis models).
Added roughly 60 new references.
Date accepted 30 June 2008, published 30 June 2008
Changes Added 16 new references and latest observations. For detailed description see here .

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RefDB records now cited by this article:
UPDATE http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2013-4
Title Relativistic Binaries in Globular Clusters
Author Matthew J. Benacquista / Jonathan M. B. Downing
Date accepted 29 November 2012, published 4 March 2013
Changes Substantial revision of most sections. Addition of Jonathan Downing as co-author. Number of references increased from 247 to 495.
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