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Paper: CV Discs Observed
Volume: 160, Astrophysical Discs: An EC Summer School
Page: 3
Authors: Marsh, R. T.
Abstract: Observations of cataclysmic variable stars are reviewed with emphasis on those that test theories of their accretion discs. Two indirect imaging techniques, eclipse mapping and Doppler tomography, are described. Eclipse mapping has provided one of the few direct confirmations of the theory of steady-state accretion discs. Remarkably, however, there are many steady-state systems where the temperature versus radius in the disc appears much flatter than the T R^{-3/4} prediction for steady-state discs; of various possibilities, reasons are given for thinking that obscuration of the inner disc by the outer disc is the cause of the discrepancy. Accretion discs can be imaged in the light of their emission lines by a method known as Doppler tomography. This technique is capable of true two-dimensional imaging, and is informative about kinematics of the discs. The recent discovery of spiral shock-like patterns in discs is discussed.
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