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Based on the current detectable cataclysmic variable (CV) population in Galactic globular clusters (GCs), we show that there is not a clear relation between the number of sources per unit of mass and the stellar encounter rate, the cluster mass, or the cluster central density. If any, only in the case of core-collapsed GCs could there be an anticorrelation with the stellar encounter rate. Our findings contrast with previous studies where clear positive correlations were identified. Our results suggest that correlations between faint X-ray sources, from which often conclusions for the CV population are drawn, and the GC parameters considered here, are likely influenced by other type of X-ray sources, including other types of compact binaries, which have X-ray luminosities similar to CVs. The findings presented here also suggest that the role of primordial systems is more important than previously believed and that dynamical formation has less influence in the current detectable CV population. The long-standing paradigm that GCs are efficient factories of CVs formed via dynamical interactions does not seem to be supported by current observations.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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The Astrophysical Journal Letters





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