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Paper: The Evolution of Cataclysmic Variables
Volume: 447, Evolution of Compact Binaries
Page: 3
Authors: Knigge, C.
Abstract: I review our current understanding of the evolution of cataclysmic variables (CVs). I first provide a brief introductory “CV primer,” in which I describe the physical structure of CVs, as well as their astrophysical significance. The main part of the review is divided into three parts. The first part outlines the theoretical principles of CV evolution, focusing specifically on the standard “disrupted magnetic braking” model. The second part describes how some of the most fundamental predictions this model are at last being test observationally. Finally, the third part describes recent efforts to actually reconstruct the evolution path of CVs empirically. Some of these efforts suggest that angular momentum loss below the period gap must be enhanced relative to the purely gravitational-radiation-driven losses assumed in the standard model.
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