The gravitational dynamics of galaxies
The broad area of galactic dynamics is presented for a physics audience, with the requisite astronomy background in outline, and focusing on gravitational effects. The basic underlying model is a large number of particles (which could be stars or dark matter) moving in their self-consistent gravitational potential. The effects of two-particle correlations/scattering, although weak, can be cumulative and hence important for a class of systems such as star clusters which are hence termed collisional. On the larger scale of galaxies, we have collisionless behaviour which is different and in some ways richer. The basic ideas and applications in both these regimes are described, and some issues highlighted in conclusion.
Volume 96, 2022
Continuous Article Publishing mode
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