Binaries with Partial Accretion Discs

  • C. G. Campbell
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 456)


The intermediate polars have white dwarf primary stars with magnetic moments strong enough to disrupt the inner region of their accretion discs. Matter is channelled from the inner edge of the disc on to the star via an accretion curtain flow. The vertical shear between the stellar magnetosphere and the disc leads to the creation of toroidal magnetic field from the poloidal component, and the resulting magnetic stresses cause angular momentum exchange to occur between the star and the disc. Angular momentum is also transferred through the curtain flow. If the magnetic field winding becomes sufficiently large, field lines can open and channel wind flows from the disc and star. A range of spin behaviour can result for the primary star. Some X-ray binary pulsars and the accreting millisecond pulsars have magnetic neutron star primaries which disrupt the inner region of their discs, and so these systems have similarities to the intermediate polars. The magnetic disruption of the disc and channelling of the curtain flow pose MHD problems. The basic properties of these systems are reviewed here


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. G. Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mathematics, Statistics and PhysicsNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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