The DB gap and a new class of pulsating white dwarfs
Department of Astronomy, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
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The recent systematic surveys providing enormously massive datasets of white dwarfs show that there is still a deficit of a factor of 2.5 in the DA/non-DA ratio within the temperature range of 30 000 K < Teff < 45 000 K, which has been regarded as the “DB gap” meaning a range with almost no helium atmosphere white dwarfs. Since all white dwarfs have to evolve through this temperature range along almost the identical sequence on the color-magnitude diagram, this implies that most of the helium atmosphere DO stars once evolve into hydrogen atmosphere hot DA stars in the temperature range of the DB gap and then back to helium atmosphere DB stars. Possible scenarios for this chameleon-like disguises of white dwarfs with helium dominant atmospheres are described and a new class of pulsating white dwarfs, named the hot-DAV stars, is predicted from these scenarios. One pulsating DA white dwarf, being consistent with the prediction, has been discovered indeed.
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