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The study of cataclysmic variables - interacting binary stars containing a white dwarf accreting from an orbiting companion - is undergoing an exciting renaissance, as it embraces observations at all wavelengths. Cataclysmic variables allow, in particular, the direct and detailed study of equilibrium and non-equilibrium accretion discs; in turn these developments also help in our understanding of X-ray binaries, black holes and active galactic nuclei. This timely volume provides the first comprehensive survey of cataclysmic variable stars, integrating theory and observation into a single, synthesised text. An introductory chapter gives the historical background of studies of cataclysmic variables. The author then goes on to give an up-to-date review of both the observations (at all wavelengths, and over all time-scales), the theories, the models of the structures and accretion processes believed to be involved. A very detailed bibliography is also provided to guide the reader to pertinent primary literature.
Preface; 1. Historical development; 2. Structure of non-magnetic systems; 3. Dwarf novae; 4. Nova-like variables and nova remnants; 5. Novae in eruption; 6. Polars; 7. Intermediate polars; 8. DQ Herculis stars; 9. Evolution of cataclysmic variables; Bibliography; Index.