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A self-consistent field method for galactic dynamics
Hernquist, Lars; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.
AA(Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, CA), AB(Princeton University Observatory, NJ)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 386, Feb. 20, 1992, p. 375-397. Research supported by Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and University of California. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Celestial Mechanics, Computational Astrophysics, Galaxies, Stellar Motions, Algorithms, Astronomical Models, Dynamical Systems, Numerical Analysis
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The present study describes an algorithm for evolving collisionless stellar systems in order to investigate the evolution of systems with density profiles like the R exp 1/4 law, using only a few terms in the expansions. A good fit is obtained for a truncated isothermal distribution, which renders the method appropriate for galaxies with flat rotation curves. Calculations employing N of about 10 exp 6-7 are straightforward on existing supercomputers, making possible simulations having significantly smoother fields than with direct methods such as tree-codes. Orbits are found in a given static or time-dependent gravitational field; the potential, phi(r, t) is revised from the resultant density, rho(r, t). Possible scientific uses of this technique are discussed, including tidal perturbations of dwarf galaxies, the adiabatic growth of central masses in spheroidal galaxies, instabilities in realistic galaxy models, and secular processes in galactic evolution.

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arXiv e-prints