Submitting Campus

Daytona Beach


Physical Sciences

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

Summer 8-20-2008


Due to the short settling times of metals in DA white dwarf atmospheres, any white dwarfs with photospheric metals must be actively accreting. It is therefore natural to expect that the metals may not be deposited uniformly on the surface of the star. We present calculations showing how the temperature variations associated with white dwarf pulsations lead to an observable diagnostic of the surface metal distribution, and we show what constraints current data sets are able to provide. We also investigate the effect that time-variable accretion has on the metal abundances of different species, and we show how this can lead to constraints on the gravitational settling times.

Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal Letters


The American Astronomical Society, The Institute of Physics

Grant or Award Name

National Science Foundation awards AST-0507639 and AST-0607480

Additional Information

Dr. von Hippel was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.