Inverting the White Dwarf Luminosity Function: The Star Formation History of the Solar Neighborhood

Nicholas Rowell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

I present an algorithm for inverting the luminosity function for white dwarfs to obtain a maximum likelihood estimate of the star formation rate of the host stellar population. The algorithm is of the general class of Expectation Maximization, and involves iteratively improving an initial guess of the star formation rate. Tests show that the inversion results are quite sensitive to the assumed metallicity and initial mass function, but relatively insensitive to the initial-final mass relation and ratio of H/He atmosphere white dwarfs. Application to two independent determinations of the Solar neighborhood white dwarf luminosity function gives similar results: the star formation rate is characterised by an early burst, and more recent peak at 2-3 Gyr in the past.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication18TH EUROPEAN WHITE DWARF WORKSHOP
EditorsJ Krzesinski, G Stachowski, P Moskalik, K Bajan
Place of PublicationSAN FRANCISCO
PublisherASTRONOMICAL SOC PACIFIC
Pages89-94
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-58381-820-6
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event18th European White Dwarf Workshop, EUROWD12 - Krakow, Poland
Duration: 13 Aug 201217 Aug 2012

Publication series

NameAstronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series
PublisherASTRONOMICAL SOC PACIFIC
Volume469

Conference

Conference18th European White Dwarf Workshop, EUROWD12
CountryPoland
Period13/08/1217/08/12

Keywords

  • SKY-SURVEY
  • AGE
  • ALGORITHM
  • DISC
  • GYR

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