## Abstract

Knowledge of the binary population in stellar groupings provides important information about the outcome of the star forming process in different environments. Binarity is also a key ingredient in stellar population studies and is a prerequisite to calibrate the binary evolution channels. In these proceedings we present an overview of several commonly used methods to pair individual stars into binary systems, which we refer to as the pairing function. Many pairing functions are frequently used by observers and computational astronomers, either for the mathematical convenience, or because they roughly describe the expected outcome of the star forming process. We discuss the consequences of each pairing function for the interpretation of observations and numerical simulations. The binary fraction and mass ratio distribution generally depend strongly on the selection of the range in primary spectral type in a sample. These quantities, when derived from a binary survey with a mass-limited sample of target stars, are thus not representative for the population as a whole.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 984-987 |

Number of pages | 4 |

Journal | Astronomische Nachrichten |

Volume | 329 |

Issue number | 9-10 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - Dec 2008 |

Externally published | Yes |

## Keywords

- Binaries: general
- Methods: N-body simulations
- Stars: formation