Mass Transfer in Binaries: Planets Around Stars and Stars Around Supermassive Black Holes
Mass transfer between members of a binary is a common and well studies situation. As members of a binary become closer to each other, mass may leak from one object due to the strong tidal forces from the other. Usually, the leaking mass flows towards the companion, but we show that for main sequence stars that orbit the supermassive black hole in the galactic center and emit gravitational waves mass may also leak away from it. We show that the mass transfer affects the evolution of the gravitational wave emission in a way that reflects internal properties of the star. This may be relevant to observations of the planned LISA mission. On another front, tides may lead to orbital decay of planets which are close enough to their stars. Mass transfer will occur and we discuss its observational consequences in view of data from the Kepler mission.