Properties of Cataclysmic Variables in Globular Clusters
February 25, 2021
The study of star clusters plays an important role in our understanding of the Universe since these systems are natural laboratories for testing theories of stellar dynamics and evolution. Particularly, globular clusters (GCs) are one of the most important objects for studying the formation and the physical nature of exotic systems which in turn provide basic information and tools that can help us to understand the formation and evolution processes of star clusters themselves, galaxies and, in general, the young Universe. Among the most interesting objects in GCs are the cataclysmic variables (CVs), which are interacting binaries harbouring a white dwarf accreting from a low-mass companion. Since GC densities are sufficiently high that dynamical encounters involving binaries should be common, CV progenitors are expected to be affected by dynamics in some way in the early stages. In this article we review the formation channels and the influence of dynamics on the CV population in GCs. In particular, we review recent progress in numerical simulations. Furthermore, we discuss observational properties of CVs in GCs and the techniques used to identify and study them. We focus the discussion on the multi-wavelength observations carried out with HST and Chandra on the best-studied GCs NGC 6397, NGC 6752, 47 Tucanae and $\omega$ Centauri; on the recent spectroscopic findings with MUSE, and on updates regarding the correlation between the number of faint X-ray sources and the cluster stellar encounter rate. Finally, we discuss some observational prospects that might potentially help future investigations.
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