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Title: Real stars for stellar clusters
Author: Church, R. P.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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This work first describes the creation of a rapid, reliable stellar evolution programme from the stellar evolution code STARS. The physics of stellar evolution and structure of the code are described. Modifications to the code, necessary for it to evolve single stars in a rapid and reliable manner, are detailed. The stellar evolution code has been combined with the stellar dynamics programme NBODY6 to model clusters containing 104 single stars. STARS has been extended to enable it to model binary star systems efficiently. The physics of binary stellar evolution is outlined and its implementation in the code discussed. The phenomenon of common envelope evolution is reviewed and a routine to model it is described. The extended code is used to model the binaries J1141-6545 and B2303+46, both of which contain a white dwarf and a neutron star in an eccentric orbit. The results are compared to those obtained with the synthetic binary evolution code BSE. It is shown that the process of common envelope evolution is critical to the evolution of this class of objects and models are produced that fit both systems from a single initial distribution. The extended code has been combined with NBODY6 to produce the first N-body code to contain live binary stellar evolution. Small proof-of-concept cluster models show that the code works although some challenging numerical problems remain. Full treatment of binary evolution is particularly important for blue stragglers formed by thermal-timescale mass transfer and close degenerate binaries formed via common envelope evolution.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available