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Title: ON THE FORMATION OF ECCENTRIC MILLISECOND PULSARS WITH HELIUM WHITE-DWARF COMPANIONS

Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) orbiting helium white dwarfs (WDs) in eccentric orbits challenge the established binary-evolution paradigm that predicts efficient orbital circularization during the mass-transfer episode that spins up the pulsar. Freire and Tauris recently proposed that these binary MSPs may instead form from the rotationally delayed accretion-induced collapse of a massive WD. However, their hypothesis predicts that eccentric systems preferably host low-mass pulsars and travel with small systemic velocities—in tension with new observational constraints. Here, I show that a substantial growth in eccentricity may alternatively arise from the dynamical interaction of the binary with a circumbinary disk. Such a disk may form from ejected donor material during hydrogen flash episodes, when the neutron star is already an active radio pulsar and tidal forces can no longer circularize the binary. I demonstrate that a short-lived (10{sup 4}-10{sup 5} yr) disk can result in eccentricities of e ≅ 0.01-0.15 for orbital periods between 15 and 50 days. Finally, I propose that, more generally, the disk hypothesis may explain the lack of circular binary pulsars for the aforementioned orbital-period range.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn (Germany)
  2. (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364817
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 797; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BINARY STARS; HELIUM; HYDROGEN; MASS TRANSFER; NEUTRON STARS; ORBITS; PULSARS; SPIN; STAR ACCRETION; STAR EVOLUTION; WHITE DWARF STARS