Texas Tech University
*Refreshments will be served in the Student Lounge at 3:15 PM
Title: Searching for Exotic Stars in The Chandra Galactic Bulge Survey
Abstract: The evolution of close binary stars (i.e. pairs of stars with mass transfer between the components) is one of the most challenging ones in all of astrophysics. A full theoretical exploration of the topic requires a 3D treatment of a wide range of timescales, from hours to billions of years. An observational treatment requires a careful understanding of sample selection effects. At the same time, the problem is quite important, since a wide range of phenomena, ranging from the production of gravitational wave sources to the production of millisecond radio pulsars (nature's best clocks) to a production of a large fraction of the chemical elements, depends strongly on the effects of binary stars. I will discuss a multi-wavelength, multi-timescale survey of a 12 square degree region of the Galactic Bulge aimed at providing the definitive observational survey to study binary evolution products. The survey field encompasses about 10% of the stellar mass of the Galaxy, avoids the areas with the most foreground dust, and is well covered by a combination of dedicated and public surveys overlapping with the field. Some highlights include a new double white dwarf binary, and a variety of new stars undergoing brightness changes of factors of hundreds due to unstable disks of matter being dumped onto accreting stars.