Setting a new standard in the analysis of binary stars
16-19 September 2013, University of Leuven, Belgium
Complementary observations of binary stars allow the determination of fundamental stellar quantities, and are a principal source of stellar masses. As such, binary stars are irreplaceable for probing models of stellar structure and evolution. The development of modern instrumentation with high spectral and spatial resolution and the amazing precision of on-board detectors operational in space on the one hand, and new modern analysis techniques on the other hand, now make it possible to surpass the barrier of 1% accuracy on the stellar parameters, allowing studies on a much more detailed scale. On the theoretical side, new generations of stellar evolution models are being built with important ingredients to achieve a more realistic physical description. Over the last decade, several new grids of rotational evolution models have become available, and promising initial results from the implementation of magnetic fields have been achieved. In spite of tremendous efforts by many researchers, both observers and theoreticians, we are still facing discrepancies and ambiguities over the entire range of stellar masses, as well as different evolutionary states and metallicity regimes.
The aim of this conference is to bring together theoreticians and observers, to review the present capabilities of matching models with new high-quality observations, and to identify the problems that stand in the way of a proper understanding of stellar physics. The overarching questions to be asked are: (1) Which aspects of theory appear to be most in need of improvement in light of observations, (2) what observational advances are most needed by theorists to advance the models, and (3) what enhancements in data modeling engines are most critically needed as we enter the era of ultra-high precision photometry?
More detailed questions to be discussed include: Is the accuracy of the observables sufficient to discriminate between models? How can we lift the degeneracy between metallicity and rotational effects? How well are we able to trace observationally convective core-overshooting, and calibrate the mixing in the stellar interiors? Are our analytical models suitable for dealing with photometric data of micro-magnitude precision? How can we characterise the individual components in binaries (chemical composition, metallicity, pulsation pattern, rotation and spin-orbit alignment) and the role of tidal interaction between them? What is the tidal evolution of detached binaries? Other topics that will also be discussed include the need for binary star evolutionary models and the synergy of binary stars, stellar clusters and galaxies, pulsating stars in binaries, and spatial resolution of spectroscopic binaries, as well as the Mass-Luminosity relation in Local Group galaxies. Additionally, time will be devoted to discuss case studies of benchmark binaries.
Scientific Organising Committee:
- Douglas R. Gies (USA)
- Christian A. Hummel (Germany)
- Robert Izzard (Germany)
- Carla Maceroni (Italy)
- Kresimir Pavlovski (Croatia), co-chair
- Andrej Prsa (USA)
- John Southworth (UK)
- Keivan Stassun (USA)
- Andrew Tkachenko (Belgium), co-chair
- Guillermo Torres (USA)
Local Organizing Committee:
- Andrew Tkachenko, chair
- Katrijn Clémer
- Steven Bloemen
- Jonas Debosscher
- Kenneth De Smedt
- Valentina Schmid
Several other invited speakers are pending confirmation