Liberal evolution of interacting binaries has been proposed previously by several authors in order to meet various observed binary characteristics better than conservative evolution does. Since Algols are eclipsing binaries the distribution of their orbital periods is precisely known. The distribution of their mass ratios contains however more uncertainties. We try to reproduce these two distributions theoretically using a liberal scenario in which the gainer star can lose mass into interstellar space as a consequence of its rapid rotation and the energy of a hot spot. In a recent paper (Van Rensbergen et al. 2010, A&A) we calculated the liberal evolution of binaries with a B-type primary at birth where mass transfer starts during core hydrogen burning of the donor. In this paper we include the cases where mass transfer starts during hydrogen shell burning and it is our aim to reproduce the observed distributions of the system parameters of Algol-type semi-detached systems. Our calculations reveal the amount of time that an Algol binary lives with a well defined value of mass ratio and orbital period. We use these data to simulate the distribution of mass ratios and orbital periods of Algols. Binaries with a late B-type initial primary hardly lose any mass whereas those with an early B primary evolve in a non-conservative way. Conservative binary evolution predicts only ~ 12 % of Algols with a mass ratio q above 0.4. This value is raised up to ~ 17 % using our scenario of liberal evolution, which is still far below the ~ 45 % that is observed. Observed orbital periods of Algol binaries larger than one day are faithfully reproduced by our liberal scenario. Mass ratios are reproduced better than with conservative evolution, but the resemblance is still poor.
|Tijdschrift||Astronomy & Astrophysics|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||A16|
|Status||Published - 18 feb 2011|