Pre-cataclysmic binaries

Echelle spectroscopy (here Hamilton echelle at the Lick Observatory 3m telescope) of short period evolved binaries is the key to understanding the origin of cataclymic variables. Various surveying techniques are used to identify white dwarfs with close late-type star companions and follow-up optical and far ultraviolet (with Hubble Space Telescope) spectroscopy allow detailed dynamical studies of the binaries. The work involves ground based optical observations as well archival research of NASA databases.