Faculty Advisor

Dr. Bernhard Beck-Winchatz


The purpose of this study is to identify Cataclysmic Variables (CVs) using spectroscopic and photometric data. CVs are useful for studying plasma physics in extreme conditions such as the high temperature and strong magnetic fields seen in CV accretion disks. They are also critical for understanding the evolution of binary stars, both in the field and in globular clusters. This project used photometric and spectroscopic data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to identify and classify CVs. 6,000 objects were selected based on multi-color criteria and analyzed using spectral data. Approximately 1% of these objects in the sample were classified as CVs in the SDSS pipeline. Of these, 11% were found to have typical spectra while the remaining 89% had spectra inconsistent with standard CVs.