The current status of empirical data on stellar masses and radii of sufficient accuracy to give constraints on stellar models is reviewed. Results from the best-studied eclipsing binaries can already trace the main-sequence evolution of 1-10 M ⊙ stars in considerable detail and will be even more useful when supplemented by chemical abundance data.
Taking the deceptively simple question of the observed width of the main sequence as an example, it is shown how careful attention to the details of the data is required to reach robust conclusions about such features of modern stellar evolution models as opacity tables or convective overshooting. Only detailed modelling of specific systems with known masses, radii, and metal abundance constrain the theory strongly enough that a truly critical test is achieved. The same is true when using tidal interactions in binaries (apsidal motion, rotational synchronization, and orbital circularization) as another probe into stellar interiors.
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