Evolution of Close Binaries. V. The Evolution of Massive Binaries and the Formation of the Wolf-Rayet Stars
A general discussion of the evolution of close binaries is presented. Results of numerical computations are described for the evolution of a massive binary in the case when the Roche lobe is filled up by the primary after the exhaustion of the central hydrogen. As a result of a rapid mass transfer to the secondary the primary component of initial mass 16 M_odot lost 9.1 M_odot in only 4x10^3 years. Further evolution was not computed, but we anticipate that it should follow the case B of Kippenhahn and Weigert (1967). Thus, after a somewhat slower exchange of additional 2-3 M_odot the primary (now the less massive component should settle down near the main sequence for the helium burning stars. We identify this star with the Wolf-Rayet component of known massive binaries. The range of initial conditions that will lead to this type of evolution is discussed. In particular the initial mass of the primary component should be in the range of 5-65 M_odot.
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