LPL Colloquium: Dr. Diego Munoz

Searching for a New Paradigm of Binary-Disk Interaction


3:45 to 4:45 p.m., April 2, 2024


Dr. Diego Munoz
Assistant Professor
Northern Arizona University

In the last five years, there has been a renewed interest in the classic problem of binary-disk interaction, where two point masses interact with a surrounding accretion disk. This process influences binary growth rate, angular momentum exchange, and orbital element evolution. Despite advancements in computational models, certain aspects of this decades-old problem remain unclear. Recent findings challenge the established idea that binaries contract; instead, they might expand due to binary-gas coupling. This surprising new behavior has important implications for the formation of stellar binaries, the formation of circumbinary planets, and even the evolution of massive black hole binaries and their gravitational wave signatures. I this talk, I will focus on the 'outward migration' conundrum and reevaluate other established beliefs. I will discuss why this unexpected effect went unnoticed for 30 years, and explore what potential physical processes may still ensure the inward migration of binaries. 

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