Close Pairs as Probes of the Galaxy's Chemical Evolution

Dany Vanbeveren and Erwin De Donder

Astrophysical Institute, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Understanding the galaxy in which we live is one of the great intellectual challenges facing modern science. With the advent of high quality observational data, the chemical evolution modeling of our galaxy has been the subject of numerous studies in the last years. However, all these studies have one missing element which is ‘the evolution of close binaries’. Reason: their evolution is very complex and single stars only perhaps can do the job.
(Un)Fortunately at present we know that a significant fraction of the observed intermediate mass and massive stars are members of a binary or multiple system and that certain objects can only be formed through binary evolution. Therefore galactic studies that do not account for close binaries may be far from realistic. We implemented a detailed binary population in a galactic chemical evolutionary model. Notice that this is not something simple like replacing chemical yields. Here we discuss three topics: the effect of binaries on the evolution of 14N, the evolution of the type Ia supernova rate and the effects on the G-dwarf distribution, the link between the evolution of the r-process elements and double neutron star mergers (candidates of short gamma-ray burst objects).

Reference: Invited paper at IAUS240, IAU XXVI GA, Prague
Status: Conference proceedings

Weblink: Astro-ph/0609402