The Gravitational Million-Body Problem: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Star Cluster Dynamics

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The gravitational million-body problem is a model for understanding the dynamics of rich star clusters. This text describes the theory astronomers need for studying globular star clusters. After introducing the million-body problem from various view-points, the book systematically develops the tools needed for studying the million-body problems in nature, and introduces the most important theoretical models. Written for graduate students and researchers in astrophysics and astronomy, this text also has important applications in the fields of theoretical physics, computational science and mathematics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"... [this book] provides a very modern and refreshingly new perspective on collisional stellar dynamics based on interdisciplinary themes." Physics Today

"Both the specialist and the nonspecialist will enjoy what Heggie and Hut have to offer in this exciting field." Physics Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521773034
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2003
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Heggie is Professor of Mathematical Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Piet Hut is Professor of Astrophysics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Introductions
1 Astrophysics introduction
2 Theoretical physics introduction
3 Computational physics introduction
4 Mathematical introduction
Pt. II The Continuum Limit
5 Paradoxical thermodynamics
6 Statistical mechanics
7 Motion in a central potential
8 Some famous models
9 Methods
Pt. III Mean Field Dynamics
10 Violent relaxation
11 Internal mass loss
12 External influences
Pt. IV Microphysics
13 Exponential orbit instability
14 Two-body relaxation
15 From Kepler to Kustaanheimo
Pt. V Gravothermodynamics
16 Escape and mass segregation
17 Gravothermal instability
18 Core collapse rate for star clusters
Pt. VI Gravitational Scattering
19 Thought experiments
20 Mathematical three-body scattering
21 Analytical approximations
22 Laboratory experiments
23 Gravitational burning and transmutation
Pt. VII Primordial Binaries
24 Binaries in star clusters
25 Triple formation and evolution
26 A non-renewable energy source
Pt. VIII Post-Collapse Evolution
27 Surviving core collapse
28 Gravothermal oscillations
29 Dissolution
Pt. IX Star Cluster Ecology
30 Stellar and dynamical evolution
31 Collisions and capture
32 Binary star evolution and blue stragglers
33 Star cluster evolution
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