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  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020
  • 3:45 PM–4:45 PM

This week’s Physics and Astronomy Department seminar will be presented on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 3:45.  Our presenters will be Dr. Molnar and his summer research team, Lauren Henderson, Anneke Avery, and Gia Mien Le.  They will speak about their summer research findings with a presentation entitled “Evolution of Contact Binary Stars.”

For every few hundred sun-like stars in our Galaxy, one has a stellar companion orbiting so closely that the pair shares a common atmosphere and hence constitute a contact binary star system.  Although common, there is not yet a consensus on how these systems form, evolve, and ultimately die. Over the past few years, we have identified a number of physical mechanisms that we postulate drive the evolution of these systems. In this seminar we will present the first full computation of stellar models incorporating these ideas. Moreover, we will test these models by comparison with the statistical properties of the massive OGLE data set.

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November 2020
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