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X-ray binaries are stellar systems that combine one normal star (like our sun) and a smaller star, such as a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole. This timely text provides a comprehensive overview of the unique and varied behavior of these combinations. Fifteen specially-written chapters by a team of the world's foremost researchers in the field explore all aspects of the X-ray binaries, including the X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, and radio properties of these violent systems, and address key issues such as how these systems formed and what their fate might be. They also discuss X-ray bursts and quasi-periodic oscillations, the connections between millisecond radio pulsars and low-mass X-ray binaries, and how the magnetic field of a neutron star decays. This long-awaited review provides graduate students and researchers with the standard reference on X-ray binaries for many years to come.
Preface; 1. The properties of X-ray binaries, N. E. White, F. Nagase and A. N. Parmar; 2. Optical and ultraviolet observations of X-ray binaries J. van Paradijs and J. E. McClintock; 3. Black-hole binaries Y. Tanaka and W. H. G. Lewin; 4. X-ray bursts Walter H. G. Lewin, Jan Van Paradijs and Ronald E. Taam; 5. Millisecond pulsars D. Bhattacharya; 6. Rapid aperiodic variability in binaries M. van der Klis; 7. Radio properties of X-ray binaries R. M. Hjellming and X. Han; 8. Cataclysmic variable stars France Anne-Dominic Córdova; 9. Normal galaxies and their X-ray binary populations G. Fabbiano; 10. Accretion in close binaries Andrew King; 11. Formation and evolution of neutron stars and black holes in binaries F. Verbunt and E. P. J. van den Heuvel; 12. The magnetic fields of neutron stars and their evolution D. Bhattacharya and G. Srinivasan; 13. Cosmic gamma-ray bursts K. Hurley; 14. A catalogue of X-ray binaries Jan van Paradijs; 15. A compilation of cataclysmic binaries with known or suspected orbital periods Hans Ritter and Ulrich Kolb; References; Index.