Searching for X-Ray Binaries with Large-Scale Optical Variability Surveys

Prof. Eric Bellm, University of Washington

Binary systems containing neutron stars and black holes are crucial to understanding accretion physics as well as stellar and binary evolution. However, current X-ray surveys have only identified a small fraction of the number of Galactic X-ray binaries expected from population synthesis. These systems exhibit a range of variability signatures in optical bands which can be identified with current and future optical variability surveys. I will describe ongoing searches with the Zwicky Transient Facility as well as prospects for discoveries with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.