Effects of Gravity on the Structure of Postshock Accretion Flows in Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables

Abstract

We have calculated the temperature and density structure of the hot postshock plasma in magnetically confined accretion flows, including the gravitational potential. This avoids the inconsistency of previous calculations which assume that the height of the shock is negligible. We assume a stratified accretion column with 1-d flow along the symmetry axis. We find that the calculations predict a lower shock temperature than previous calculations, with a flatter temperature profile with height. We have revised previous determinations of the masses of the white dwarf primary stars and find that for higher mass white dwarfs there is a general reduction in derived masses when the gravitational potential is included. This is because the spectrum from such flows is harder than that of previous prescriptions at intermediate energies.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Cropper1999EffectsOG, title={Effects of Gravity on the Structure of Postshock Accretion Flows in Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables}, author={Mark Cropper and Kinwah Wu and Gavin Ramsay and Aysegul Kocabiyik}, year={1999} }