Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and Cookies 3:30 PM, Talk begins at 3:45 PM
Speaker: Tom Maccarone, Texas Tech University
Abstract: Understanding the evolution of binary stars is vital for almost all of the key problems in astrophysics today. For example, gravitational wave sources and Type Ia supernovae are fundamentally binary processes. From a theoretical point of view, binary stellar evolution is extremely complicated, with many poorly understood processes contributing. To build up an understanding of binary evolution, it is thus necessary to build a set of observational constraints. Here, I will present the results from several projects aimed at understanding the binary and transient populations of the Milky Way's Galactic Bulge. Some key highlights will include new understanding of cataclysmic variables, accreting black holes and neutron stars, and the discovery of a low mass protostar that appears to have formed in isolation.