Oscillations of red dwarfs in evolved low-mass binaries with neutron stars

Marek J. Sarna, Umin Lee, Alexander G. Muslimov

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3 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate a novel aspect of a problem related to the properties of low-mass binaries (LMBs) with millisecond pulsars: the pulsations of the red dwarf (donor) companion of the neutron star (NS). The illumination of the donor star by the pulsar's high-energy nonthermal radiation and relativistic wind may substantially affect its structure. We present a quantitative analysis of the oscillation spectrum of a red dwarf which has evolved in an LMB and has undergone the stage of evaporation. We calculate the p- and g-modes for red dwarfs with masses in the interval (0.2-0.6) M. For comparison, similar calculations are presented for zero age main-sequence (ZAMS) stars of the same masses. For less massive donor stars (≈0.2 M), the oscillation spectrum becomes qualitatively different from that of their ZAMS counterparts. The difference is due to the fact that a ZAMS star of 0.2 M is fully convective, while the donor star in an LMB is expected to be far from thermal equilibrium and not fully convective. As a result, in contrast to a low-mass ZAMS star, a red dwarf of the same mass in an LMB allows the existence of g-modes. We also consider tidally forced g-modes, and perform a linear analysis of these oscillations for different degrees of nonsynchronism between the orbital and spin rotation of the red dwarf component. We demonstrate the existence of a series of resonances for the low-order g-modes which may occur in LMBs at a late stage of their evolution. We discuss the possibility that these oscillations may trigger Roche lobe overflow and sudden mass loss by the donor star. Further implications of this effect for γ- and X-ray burst phenomena are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-308
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Aug 10
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: close
  • Stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs
  • Stars: neutron
  • Stars: oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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