Landmark paper on CV evolution from Joe Patterson and CBAers
The paper describes: "One: why the ER UMa class even exists (because all members can be remnants of recent novae). Two: why ER UMa stars and short-period novalikes are rare (because their lifetimes, which are essentially cooling times, are short). Three: why short-period novae all decline to luminosity states far above their true quiescence (because they're just getting started in their postnova cooling). Four: why the orbital periods, accretion rates, and white- dwarf temperatures of short-period CVs are somewhat too large to arise purely from the effects of gravitational radiation (because the unexpectedly long interval of enhanced postnova brightness boosts the mean mass-transfer rate). And maybe even five: why very old, post-period-bounce CVs are hard to find (because the higher mass-loss rates have “burned them out”). These are substantial rewards in return for one investment of hypothesis: that the second parameter in CV evolution, besides Porb, is time since the last classical-nova eruption."