Rapid oscillations in cataclysmic variables
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 116, (816), . (doi:10.1086/381742).
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I give an overview of the rich phenomenology of dwarf nova oscillations (DNOs) and Quasi-periodic Oscillations (QPOs) observed in cataclysmic variable stars (CVs). The favoured interpretation of these rapid brightness modulations (3 - >1000 s time scales) is that they are magnetic in nature - magnetically channelled accretion from the inner accretion disc for DNOs and possible magnetically excited travelling waves in the disc for QPOs. There is increasing evidence for the magnetic aspects, which extend to lower field the well known properties of strong field (polars) and intermediate strength field (intermediate polars) CVs. The result is that almost all CVs show the presence of magnetic fields on their white dwarf primaries - though for many the intrinsic field may be locally enhanced by the accretion process itself. There are many parallel behaviours with the QPOs seen in X-Ray binaries, with high and low frequency X-Ray QPOs resembling respectively the DNOs and QPOs in CVs.
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