Journal Article

Can eccentric binary millisecond pulsars form by accretion-induced collapse of white dwarfs?

Wen-Cong Chen, Xi-Wei Liu, Ren-Xin Xu and Xiang-Dong Li

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 410, issue 3, pages 1441-1446
Published in print January 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17512.x
Can eccentric binary millisecond pulsars form by accretion-induced collapse of white dwarfs?

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Binary radio pulsars are generally believed to have been spun up to millisecond periods (i.e. recycling) via mass accretion from their donor stars, and they are the descendants of neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries. However, some studies indicate that the formation of pulsars from the accretion-induced collapse (AIC) of accreting white dwarfs (WDs) cannot be excluded. In this work, we use a population-synthesis code to examine if the AIC channel can produce eccentric binary millisecond pulsars (BMSPs) in the Galaxy. Our simulated results indicate that only when the natal MSPs receive a relatively strong kick (>rsim 100 km s −1), can the AIC channel produce ∼10–180 eccentric (e > 0.1) BMSPs in the Galaxy, most of which are accompanied by a helium star. Such a kick seems to be highly unlikely in the conventional AIC process, hence the probability of forming eccentric BMSPs via the AIC channel can be ruled out. Even if a high kick is allowed, the AIC channel cannot produce eccentric BMSPs with an orbital period of ≳20 d. Therefore, we propose that the peculiar BMSP PSR J1903+0327 cannot be formed by the AIC channel. However, the AIC evolutionary channel may produce some fraction of isolated MSPs, and even submillisecond pulsars if they really exist.

Keywords: pulsars: general; Galaxy: stellar content; stars: white dwarfs; binaries: close; stars: evolution; stars: formation

Journal Article.  4312 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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