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Paper: Dynamical Masses of Accreting White Dwarfs
Volume: 509, 20th European Workshop on White Dwarfs (EuroWD16)
Page: 91
Authors: Pala, A. F.; Gänsckie, B. T.
Abstract: The mass retention efficiency is a key question in both the theoretical and observational study of accreting white dwarfs in interacting binaries, with important implications for their potential as progenitors for type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). Canonical wisdom is that classical nova eruptions erode the white dwarf mass, and consequently, cataclysmic variables (CVs) have been excluded from the SN Ia progenitor discussion. However the average mass of white dwarfs in CVs is substantially higher (≃ 0.83 M) than that of single white dwarfs (≃ 0.64 M ), in stark contrast to expectations based on current classical nova models. This finding is based on a sample of ≃ 30 CV white dwarfs with accurate mass measurements, most of them in eclipsing systems. Given the fundamental importance of the mass evolution of accreting white dwarfs, it is necessary to enlarge this sample and to diversify the methods used for measuring masses. We have begun a systematic study of 27 CVs to almost double the number of CV white dwarfs with an accurate mass measurement. Using VLT/X--shooter phase--resolved observations, we can measure the white dwarf masses to a few percent, and will be able to answer the question whether accreting CV white dwarfs grow in mass.
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