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Title: The merger fraction of ultramassive white dwarfs

We search for merger products among the 25 most massive white dwarfs in the Montreal White Dwarf Database 100 pc sample through follow-up spectroscopy and high-cadence photometry. We find an unusually high fraction, 40 per cent, of magnetic white dwarfs among this population. In addition, we identify four outliers in transverse velocity and detect rapid rotation in five objects. Our results show that $56^{+9}_{-10}$ per cent of the $M\approx 1.3\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ ultramassive white dwarfs form through mergers. This fraction is significantly higher than expected from the default binary population synthesis calculations using the α prescription (with αλ = 2), and provides further support for efficient orbital shrinkage, such as with low values of the common-envelope efficiency.

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Award ID(s):
2205736 1906379
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 2341-2353
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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