X-Ray Binaries and the Dynamical States of Globular Clusters

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Fregeau, John M.
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We summarize and discuss recent work (Fregeau 2007) that presents the confluence of three results suggesting that most Galactic globular clusters are still in the process of core contraction, and have not yet reached the thermal equilibrium phase driven by binary scattering interactions: that 1) the three clusters that appear to be overabundant in X-ray binaries per unit encounter frequency are observationally classified as "core-collapsed," 2) recent numerical simulations of cluster evolution with primordial binaries show that structural parameters of clusters in the binary-burning phase agree only with "core-collapsed" clusters, and 3) a cluster in the binary-burning phase for the last few Gyr should have about 5 times more dynamically formed X-ray sources than if it were in the core contraction phase for the same time.
Comment: Conference proceedings from "A Population Explosion: The Nature and Evolution of X-ray Binaries in Diverse Environments," 28 Oct - 2 Nov, St. Petersburg Beach, FL. 4 pages
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