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: 9780521774864
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.79 (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

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