MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, vol.373, no.1, pp.435-448, 2006 (SCI-Expanded)
We have compiled the well-determined absolute parameters of Algol-type binaries. The lists contain the parameters of 74 detached and 61 semidetached close binaries. The double-lined eclipsing binaries provide not only the most accurate determinations of stellar mass, radius and temperatures but also distance-independent luminosity for each of their individual components. The distributions of the primary and secondary masses of detached binaries (DBs) are similar, whilst the secondary masses of the semidetached binaries (SDBs) are mostly smaller than 2 M-circle dot with a peak in the M-2-bin (0.21-1.0). The components of the DBs are almost all located in the main-sequence band. On the contrary, the secondary components of the SDBs have larger radii and luminosity with respect to the same mass and the same effective temperature of main-sequence counterparts. They occupy a region of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram between terminal-age main sequence and giants. Moreover, the total angular momenta and specific angular momenta are larger for the SDBs of orbital periods with P > 5 d than those of the shorter period ones. The specific angular momenta of SDBs with periods longer than 5 d are 65 per cent greater than that of the short period group with the same mass. The DBs and the SDBs with orbital periods longer and shorter than 5 d are separated into three groups in the J/M-5/3 - q diagram. The SDBs with mass ratios greater than 0.3 and P > 5 d have almost the same angular momentum to those of DBs. However, the SDBs with short periods have the smallest angular momentum even though they have the same mass ratios. This result reveals that angular momentum loss (AML) considerably affects the evolution of close binary systems. Recently, Chen, Li & Qian suggested that, in addition to magnetic braking, a circumbinary disc may play an important role in AML from Algol-type binaries. Their calculations indicated that the evolution of Algol-type binaries can be significantly affected by the circumbinary disc. Our results show that the evolution of close binaries begins as a DB and losing angular momentum, first via stellar wind and then magnetic braking plus circumbinary disc the period is shortened and orbit shrinks. Thereafter, the evolution of the system is accelerated and mass transfer rates are enhanced which result in a smaller mass ratios.