Publication Abstracts

Wilson 1973

Wilson, R.E., 1973: Black holes in binary systems. Ann. New York Acad. Sci., 224, no. 1, 263-265, doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1973.tb41460.x.

Since the observational detection of black holes is inherently difficult, it is important to begin with a clear idea of the general possibilities for such detection as they seem practical from observations of existing type. Figure 1 shows a schematic view of the paths leading to this objective. The primary attribute by which we hope to recognize a black hole is its gravitational mass, which is discernible through its effect on macroscopic bodies (orbital motions) or microscopic bodies (compressional heating with emission of x-rays). The combination of large mass, small radius, and small luminosity constitutes the unique signature of a massive black hole, and there do exist invisible components to numerous binaries that may fulfill these conditions. Since other small objects (white dwarfs and neutrons stars) cannot have masses exceeding about 1.5 M, large mass means M ≳ 2 M. The notions of small radius and small luminosity can be taken in general to mean that these quantities are small compared with the values expected for any conceivable stable astronomical body that could be present. Those binaries for which fairly serious black hole arguments have been made to date are ϵ Aur, β Lyrae, Cygnus X1 = HDE 226868, and BM Ori. Space does not permit discussion of the merits of these cases, although counterarguments have been made regarding β Lyrae and might well be made against Cyg X-1 and BM Ori.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{wi06500e,
  author={Wilson, R. E.},
  title={Black holes in binary systems},
  year={1973},
  journal={Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences},
  volume={224},
  number={1},
  pages={263--265},
  doi={10.1111/j.1749-6632.1973.tb41460.x},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - wi06500e
AU  - Wilson, R. E.
PY  - 1973
TI  - Black holes in binary systems
JA  - Ann. New York Acad. Sci.
JO  - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
VL  - 224
IS  - 1
SP  - 263
EP  - 265
DO  - 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1973.tb41460.x
ER  -

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