Observations of Accreting White Dwarfs
- or An Observer's View of Potential Type Ia Supernova Progenitors"
Dr. Koji Mukai
White dwarfs are the most common end-products of stellar evolution. Although less extreme than neutron stars and black holes, white dwarfs have a sufficiently deep gravitational potential to become bright X-ray sources when they accrete material from their binary companions. They are also numerous and therefore include some nearby examples that can be studied in details. Here I will present results of recent X-ray observations of close binary systems with accreting white dwarfs. They provide an excellent laboratory in which to develop and test theories of accretion disks in a non-relativistic regime. Moreover, X-ray spectroscopy allows us to select systems with near-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs, making them candidate progenitors of Type Ia supernovae.