Searching for the Shortest Period Binary White Dwarfs: The Latest Highlights from the ELM Survey

Extremely low mass (ELM) white dwarfs (WDs) have masses < 0.30 Msol and represent the end point of the evolution of compact binary systems. These systems are the possible progenitors of type Ia supernovae, underluminous .Ia supernovae, AM CVn systems. ELM WDs are also among the few known verification sources for future gravitational wave detectors in the mHz regime, such as eLISA. The nature of these short period systems (P < 1 day) also gives rise to physical phenomena such as ellipsoidal variations, Doppler beaming and orbital decay. In addition, an increasing number of pulsating ELM WDs are being identified. These phenomena are important as they provide model-independent measurements of fundamental parameters such as the stellar radius and mass. I will present the most recent highlights from the ELM Survey including the discovery of a new 20-min system and the first ever discovery of a millisecond pulsar + pulsating WD binary.

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