Tales from Old Friends: Single and Double White Dwarfs in the Gaia Era
University of Oklahoma
ESA's Gaia mission has finally revealed the population of faint white dwarf stars in the solar neighborhood. We use this dataset to answer fundamental questions about the nature of white dwarfs, including their mass distribution, cooling physics (crystallization), and ultracool white dwarfs. We also use the same dataset to search for the most massive and least massive white dwarfs. We provide evidence that a significant fraction of the most massive white dwarfs form through mergers. Merging white dwarfs are predicted to be strong gravitational wave sources and are one of the proposed channels for the formation of type Ia supernovae. We are performing a targeted survey to find merging white dwarf systems. We will discuss some of the most interesting merger systems found to date.
|Date: ||Thursday, 15 April 2021|
|Where: ||Université de Montréal|
|Contact: ||Pierre Bergeron|