- Binary stars with a special emphasis on mass transfer
- The mass-ratio distribution of binary stars
- Barium and Symbiotic stars
- Interferometry study of binary stars
- Binary central stars of planetary nebulae
- Binary brown dwarfs
- Hydrodynamical simulations of accretion using SPH
- Transmission spectroscopy of exoplanets
- Novae and cataclysmic binaries
- Spiral shocks in accretion discs
- Carbon stars
- Star formation
Love in the sky
Human beings do not like to be alone : they prefer to live in couple. The same holds true for stars ! It indeed appears that at least 2 stars out of 3 are members of a binary system, i.e. they are gravitationally bound to a companion. And as is true for humans, life in couple is not always a quiet story. Stars in binary systems will indeed sometime interact and exchange matter. Although this may in some cases lead to very dramatic situations, e.g. the receiving star exploding as a nova or a supernova, in general, the effects will be more subtles.
For example, astronomers have discovered a class of stars that present some chemical peculiarities impossible to explain by standard stellar evolution theory. Further research has shown that these peculiar stars are all member of a binary system. We therefore developped a theoretical model explaining the existence of these peculiar stars as the result of mass exchange between the two components of the system. Although this scenario appears very promising, we need to assert it more quantitatively. This is done by performing three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the mass transfer process.
Thus, using a numerical code, we resolve the hydrodynamic equations corresponding to an idealized view of the binary system. And hope to understand, with computers, how stars live in couple.
- Astrotomography, Brussels, July 2000
- The future of Astronuclear Physics : From Microscopic Puzzles to Macroscopic Nightmares, Brussels, 2003
- Ecology of Blue Straggler Stars, Santiago, 2012
- The deaths of stars and the lives of galaxies, Santiago, 2013
- Astronomy at high angular resolution - a cross-disciplinary approach, Garching, 2014
- The IMPACT of BINARIES on STELLAR EVOLUTION, Garching, 2017
- The physics of evolved stars II: the role of binarity, Nice, France, 2017
- La Silla Paranal Users Workshop, Garching, 2018