Of Logarithms, Binary Orbits, and SelfReplicating Distributions
Abstract
Stellar binary orbital periods and semimajor axes appear to both be distributed in much the same smooth and nearly scalefree form: the probability density funcations of both are monotonically decreasing with increasing period (semimajor axis) and approximately proportional to P^1 (a^1). The impression that the binary period distribution has a single maximum is an artifact of the use of the use of logarithmic data transofmrs, which typically introduce spurious structure into otherwise structureless distributions; distributions of binary periods themselves show no significant peaks. The form of distribution of semimajor axes (proportional to a^1) is mathematically selfreplicating, allowing interference of a similar form of distributions of orbital angular momentum and binding energy without specific knowledge of the joint distributions of component masses and orbital eccentricities. (SECTION: Stars)
 Publication:

Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
 Pub Date:
 July 1996
 DOI:
 10.1086/133769
 Bibcode:
 1996PASP..108..591H