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Cambridge : Cambridge University press
InBinary Stars as Critical Tools and Tests in Contemporary Astrophysics, International Astronomical Union. Symposium no. 240, held 22-25 August, 2006 in Prague, pp. 390
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Binary Stars as Critical Tools and Tests in Contemporary Astrophysics, International Astronomical Union. Symposium no. 240, held 22-25 August, 2006 in Prague
Subdwarf B stars are a superb stellar population to study binary evolution. In 2001, Maxted et al. (MNRAS, 326, 1391) found that 21 out of the 36 subdwarf B stars they studied were in short period binaries. These observations inspired new theoretical work that suggests that up to 90 per cent of subdwarf B stars are in binary systems with the remaining apparently single stars being the product of merging pairs. This high binary fraction added to the fact that they are detached binaries that have not changed significantly since they came out of the common envelope, make subdwarf B stars a perfect population to study binary evolution. By comparing the observed orbital period distribution of subdwarf B stars with that obtained from population synthesis calculations we can determine fundamental parameters of binary evolution such as the common envelope ejection efficiency. Here we give an overview of the fraction of short period binaries found from different surveys as well as the most up to date orbital period distribution determined observationally. We also present results from a recent search for subdwarf B stars in long period binaries.
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