6.3 Going further

The most important future observations include:
  1. Routine increase of the statistics of binary pulsars, especially with low radio luminosity. This will allow one to put stronger constraints on the NS + NS merger rate as directly inferred from the binary pulsars statistics. More indirectly, a larger sample of NS parameters in binary pulsars would be useful for constraining the range of parameters of scenarios of formation for double NSs and, hence, a better understanding their origin (see, for example, a recent attempt of such an analysis in [298]).
  2. Discovery of a possible NS + BH binary. Measurements of its parameters would be crucial for models of formation and evolution of BHs in binary systems in general. Current estimates of the number of such binaries in the Galaxy, obtained by the population synthesis method, range from one per several thousand ordinary pulsars [230Jump To The Next Citation Point222Jump To The Next Citation Point] to much smaller values of about 0.1 – 1% of the number of double NSs in the Galactic disk [310Jump To The Next Citation Point].
  3. Search for unusual observational manifestations of relativistic binaries (e.g., among some new radio transient sources like GCRT J1745–3009, firm identifications with some GRBs, etc.)
  4. Improving the estimates of binary merger rate limits from data taken by GW detectors.

The most important theoretical issues include:

  1. Stellar physics: post-helium burning evolution of massive stars, supernova explosion mechanism, masses of compact stars formed in the collapse, mechanism(s) of kick velocity imparted to nascent compact remnants (neutron stars and black holes), stellar winds from hydrogen- and helium-rich stars.
  2. Binary evolution: treatment of the common envelope stage, magnetic braking for low-mass binaries, observational constraints on the initial distributions of orbital parameters of binary stars (masses, semimajor axes, eccentricities).
  3. Last but not least, it is very important to improve our knowledge of such “traditional” topics of stellar astronomy as the fraction of binary stars among the total population, distributions of binary stars over separations of components, and their mass ratios.


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