Thesis Topic: Magnetic fields and interaction in binary systems
Thesis Supervisor: Gaitee Hussain
Almost half of all main sequence stars are in binary or multiple systems. Close binary systems display signs of interaction between their stellar components, through tidal deformation, interaction of stellar winds. Theory tells us that the evolution of interacting binary systems containing one or more low mass (solar-type) stars is driven by the action of magnetically driven winds from the low mass stars.
Techniques developed over the last decade have enabled us to detect and map magnetic fields on the surfaces of stars other than the Sun for the first time. Magnetic field maps of single stars reveal that stars with different masses and spectral types have fundamentally different magnetic field properties. The student project will involve analysing fundamental properties of binaries and analysing their magnetic fields. There will be the opportunity to work on more theoretical aspects and travel as this is part of an international collaboration to understand binary evolution and the impact of binarity on stellar magnetism.