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Paper: Metal Accretion onto White Dwarfs. II. A Better Approach Based on Time-Dependent Calculations in Static Models
Volume: 493, 19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs
Page: 117
Authors: Fontaine, G.; Chayer, P.; Dupuis, J.; Dufour, P.; Brassard, P.
Abstract: The accretion-diffusion picture is the model par excellence for describing the presence of planetary debris polluting the atmospheres of relatively cool white dwarfs. Inferences on the process based on diffusion timescale arguments make the implicit assumption that the concentration gradient of a given metal at the base of the convection zone is negligible. This assumption is, in fact, not rigorously valid, but it allows the decoupling of the surface abundance from the evolving distribution of a given metal in deeper layers. A better approach is a full time-dependent calculation of the evolution of the abundance profile of an accreting-diffusing element. We used the same approach as that developed by Dupuis et al. to model accretion episodes involving many more elements than those considered by these authors. Our calculations incorporate the improvements to diffusion physics mentioned in Paper I. The basic assumption in the Dupuis et al. approach is that the accreted metals are trace elements, i.e, that they have no effects on the background (DA or non-DA) stellar structure. This allows us to consider an arbitrary number of accreting elements.
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