On the stability of binary system

Chandrasekhar, S. (1944) On the stability of binary system Astrophysical Journal, 99 . pp. 54-58. ISSN 0004-637X

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Official URL: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1944ApJ....99...54C

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/144589


In this paper the theory of spatial correlations developed in an earlier paper is applied to the discussion of the stability of binary stars, and a formula for estimating the time of dissolution, κ, of a binary is derived. It is found that κ≃(Ml+M2)½/4πG½MNa3/2, where Ml and M2 denote the masses of the two components of the binary system, M an average mass of the field stars, N the number of stars per unit volume, and a the semimajor axis of the relative orbit. According to the foregoing formula, the time of dissolution of binaries with semimajor axes in the range of 103-104 astronomical units can be estimated to lie in the interval 7×1010 to 2×109 years. Since there is evidence that the distribution of energies of the binary systems does not conform to Boltzmann's law (Ambarzumian), the present theory would lead one to conclude that the statistics of binary stars lends further weight to the adoption of a time scale in the neighborhood of 3×109 years. Some additional remarks on the related problems of the common proper-motion stars and on cometary orbits which are very close to the parabolic limit are also made.

Item Type:Article
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ID Code:70597
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