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Modeling and Analysis of Eclipsing Binary Stars

The theory and design principles of PHOEBE
Andrej Prša


The fascinating and observationally spectacular world of binary stars is a vast and beautiful one that is a significant aspect of many astrophysical studies. Modeling and Analysis of Eclipsing Binary Stars gives a comprehensive analysis and description of the science behind eclipsing binaries. It also explores the assumptions and the difficulties that can occur when using the modeling principles of the classical codes as well as introducing PHOEBE (the PHysics Of Eclipsing BinariEs) – a modern suite for modeling binary stars. PHOEBE was conceived by Andrej Prša and his collaborators, and has become one of the standard tools in the eclipsing binary field.

This book provides a constructive and intriguing contribution to the expansion of the modeling approaches of binaries and our subsequent understanding of the processes that govern stellar evolution. Aimed at a wide audience, Prša provides new astronomers with the knowledge and background of eclipsing binary stars as well as facilitating researchers a better understanding of the intricate details behind eclipsing binary models.

About Editors

Andrej Prša is a Slovenian astrophysicist who obtained his PhD in physics from the University of Ljubljana in 2005. The principal result of his doctoral thesis was PHOEBE (PHysics Of Eclipsing BinariEs), a modeling suite for binary stars that has since become one of the standards in the binary star community. Prša is passionate about his subject and he is a dedicated teacher and astrophysicist whose research and work is a huge asset to the astronomical community.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction to the field

Part I - Observations

Chapter 2 - Observations and data acquisition

Part II - Theoretical background

Chapter 3 - geometry and dynamics of binary stars

Chapter 4 - Radiation: the basics

Chapter 5 - Radiative properties of binary stars

Chapter 6 - Advanced topics

Part III - Modeling considerations

Chapter 7 Numerical model

Chapter 8 - Approaches to solving the inverse problem

Chapter 9 - Conclusion


Hardback ISBN: 9780750312882

Ebook ISBN: 9780750312875

DOI: 10.1088/978-0-7503-1287-5

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing

Series: AAS-IOP Astronomy


Don't let the (sub-)title of this book mislead you into thinking it's a user guide for a specific piece of software — it's much more than that. It is a comprehensive overview of the astronomy and astrophysics of eclipsing binary systems, covering the full range of observational inputs (not just spectroscopy and photometry, but also polarimetry, astrometry, and interferometry, all of which are of growing importance); the theoretical background (building up from the basic Roche model); and practical modelling considerations, including a thorough and pragmatic discussion of parameter-optimization methods.
The writing style is a pleasing combination of technical precision and easy readability; the book has all the authority of an author steeped in the details but conscious of the needs of a broader readership. Good use is made of colour in many figures (even if it seems gratuitous in some, and lacking in others), and overall production standards are high.
This book can be warmly recommended to anyone with a passing (or greater) interest in eclipsing binary stars. It will sit alongside Hilditch's Introduction to Close Binary Stars on the small section of my bookshelf that I can reach easily from a sitting position.

Ian D. Howarth 2020 The Observatory Magazine

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