I present a simplified analytical model that simulates the evolution of the binary population in a dynamically evolving globular cluster. A number of simulations have been run spanning a wide range in initial cluster and environmental conditions by taking into account the main mechanisms of formation and destruction of binary systems. Following this approach, I investigate the evolution of the fraction, the radial distribution, the distribution of mass ratios and periods of the binary population. According to these simulations, the fraction of surviving binaries appears to be dominated by the processes of binary ionization and evaporation. In particular, the frequency of binary systems changes by a factor of 1–5 depending on the initial conditions and on the assumed initial distribution of periods. The comparison with the existing estimates of binary fractions in Galactic globular clusters suggests that significant variations in the initial binary content could exist among the analysed globular cluster. This model has been also used to explain the observed discrepancy found between the most recent N-body and Monte Carlo simulations in the literature.
Keywords: stellar dynamics; methods: analytical; binaries: general; globular clusters: general
Journal Article. 10058 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics
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