EAS Publications Series
Volume 29, 2008Tidal Effects in Stars, Planets and Disks
|Page(s)||67 - 90|
|Published online||20 June 2008|
M.-J. Goupil and J.-P. Zahn (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 29 (2008) 67-90
Tidal dissipation in binary systems
LUTH, Observatoire de Paris, 92195 Meudon, France
To first approximation, a binary system conserves its angular momentum while it evolves to its state of minimum kinetic energy: circular orbit, all spins aligned, and components rotating in synchronism with the orbital motion. The pace at which this final state is achieved depends on the physical processes that are responsible for the dissipation of the tidal kinetic energy. For stars (or planets) with an outer convection zone, the dominant mechanism identified so far is the viscous dissipation acting on the equilibrium tide. For stars with an outer radiation zone, it is the radiative damping operating on the dynamical tide. After a brief presentation of the tides, I shall review these physical processes; I shall discuss the uncertainties of their present treatment, describe the latest developments, and compare the theoretical predictions with the observed properties concerning the orbital circularization of close binaries.
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2008
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