Time Resolved Circular Polarimetry of White Dwarf Pulsars
There are two recognized subsets of cataclysmic binaries that contain white dwarfs: the AM Her stars, whose white dwarf components are sufficiently magnetized to ensure synchronous rotation with the orbital period, and the DQ Her stars, which do not maintain synchronism and probably have been spun up by mass accretion. Both groups of stars, recognized also as X-ray sources, are important as probes of the accretion process, and the radiation mechanisms in the vicinity of the white dwarf. So far, we know five objects belonging to the former group (AM Her, AN UMa, VV Pup, 2A 0311-227, and PG 1550+191), and seven falling into the latter: WZ Sge, AE Aqr, V533 Her, DQ Her, V1223 Sgr, H2252-035, and EX Hya, with the corresponding rotation periods of their white dwarf primaries of 28, 33, 64, 71, 794, 805, and 4020 s, respectively. While the main observational and theoretical efforts have been focussed on the AM Her class, the DQ Her binaries have been investigated to much lesser extent. This is probably because the DQ Her stars have been recognized only very recently as a homogeneous class.
KeywordsOrbital Period Circular Polarization Accretion Disk White Dwarf Royal Astronomical Society
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