Excitation of gravity waves in common envelopes

Noam Soker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We study the excitation of gravity waves by a low-mass companion orbiting inside the envelope of a giant star, concentrating on brown dwarfs inside the envelope of asymptotic giant branch stars. Efficient g-wave excitations occur only after the brown dwarf has spiraled-in to the radiative zone, well inside the envelope, of the asymptotic giant branch star. The brown dwarf excites g-waves when its orbital radius is r2 ≃ 3-10 R. At this stage of the evolution the envelope mass is below 0.1 M. The g-waves propagate inward from the secondary orbit, carrying angular momentum and energy. We find that the angular momentum transport leads to an efficient spin-up of the inner envelopes. The differential rotation between the envelope and core and nonlinear wave effects, can cause a mixing of heavy elements from the core to the envelope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: close
  • Gravitation
  • Stars: interiors
  • Stars: late-type
  • Stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs

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