Evolutionary Channels for the Formation of Double Neutron Stars

Jeff J. Andrews, Will M. Farr, Vicky Kalogera, Bart Willems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We analyze binary population models of double-neutron stars and compare results to the accurately measured orbital periods and eccentricities of the eight known such systems in our Galaxy. In contrast to past similar studies, we especially focus on the dominant evolutionary channels (we identify three); for the first time, we use a detailed understanding of the evolutionary history of three double neutron stars as actual constraints on the population models. We find that the evolutionary constraints derived from the double pulsar are particularly tight, and less than half of the examined models survive the full set of constraints. The top-likelihood surviving models yield constraints on the key binary evolution parameters, but most interestingly reveal (i) the need for electron-capture supernovae from relatively low-mass degenerate, progenitor cores, and (ii) the most likely evolutionary paths for the rest of the known double neutron stars. In particular, we find that J1913+16 likely went through a phase of Case BB mass transfer, and J1906+0746 and J1756-2251 are consistent with having been formed in electron-capture supernovae.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2015


  • astro-ph.SR
  • binaries: close
  • pulsars: general
  • pulsars: individual (J0737−3039, B1913+16, B1534+12)


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