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Plotting the Roche Potential Surface of a Cataclysmic Binary Star System
Author

Jeffrey M. Bryant
Organization: Wolfram Research, Inc.
URL: http://members.wri.com/jeffb/
Old MathSource #

0209-988
Revision date

2005-02-14
Description

Binary Star

The shape of any star is determined by the gravitational forces within its environment. A star that is unaffected by gravitational forces other than its own should be spherical, assuming that the star is not oblate due to rotational effects. The spherical nature of a lone star is due to the fact that all gravitational forces acting on the star are centrally directed and symmetric about all three axes. If a star, however, is in orbit around a companion star, the gravitational effects of that companion star play a role in the determination of the shape of the star in question.

Updated by Author 14 February 2005
Subjects

*Education > College
*Science > Astronomy
Keywords

Roche, star, potential, gravitation and stars
URL

http://members.wri.com/jeffb/visualization/
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roche.nb (275.6 KB) - Mathematica notebook