A community discussion on the outstanding problems in common envelope evolution


Our understanding of common-envelope evolution has made significant advances in the past decade, with new observations of the precursors, transients, and aftermath advancing our understanding of this phase in binary evolution.  These observations mandate a broader theoretical understanding of processes important for common-envelope evolution, including mass transfer, accretion disks and jet production, radiation hydrodynamics and dust production.  We are entering an era where the study of common-envelope evolution can benefit greatly from leveraging expertise in a wide range of fields.

To facilitate the collaboration of the common-envelope community with these different fields, we are organizing a workshop to examine the current problems (and the computational physics needed to solve them) in common-envelope studies.  The goal of this meeting is to drive discussion on the wide range of topics required to understand common envelope evolution and the range of observable diagnostics of these mergers concentrating on the physics and simulations required to address these observations.  The goal of this workshop will be to develop the collaborations needed to drive these analyses to a higher level of fidelity, ultimately improving our understanding of this critical phase in binary star evolution.

Organizing Committee

  • Nadia Blagorodnova
  • Chris Fryer (Chair)
  • Dieter Hartmann
  • Natalia Ivanova
  • Stephen Justham
  • Chryssa Kouveliotou
  • Michael Zingale

Tentative Schedule

Optical transients
Overview: Nadia Blagorodnova
Distinguishing CE transients
Overview: Nathan Smith
IR transients
Overview: Jacob J Jencson
LRN remnants
Overview: Tomasz Kaminski
Broader implications
From mass transfer to CE onset
Overview: Morgan MacLeod
Radiation hydrodynamics
Overview: Aimee Hungerford
Dust formation
Overview: Isabelle Cherchneff (TBC)
Jets & remnant geometry
Overview: Chris Fragile


The meeting with take place at Los Alamos National Laboratory. There is no cost for registration.