A numerical method for integrating the stellardynamical FokkerPlanck equation in a fixed inhomogeneous gravitational background.
Abstract
A stable numerical method is presented for solving the stellardynamical FokkerPlanck equation in time and phase space, for certain situations involving inhomogeneous gravitational fields. For the situations of interest, which involve three phasespace dimensions plus time, a test distribution of stars is scattered by a fixed, spherical background distributions of stars. In this paper attention is focused on background distributions that compose an equilibrium spherical star cluster of the MichieKing type, and an efficient method for constructing such clusters is presented. Simple examples of results obtained by integrating the FokkerPlanck equation are exhibited. They show the evolution of scattered star distributions in both physical space and velocity space. Stellardynamical processes such as relaxation, dynamical friction, diffusion, and "filling the distribution tail" are evident. A test distribution initially like a delta function typically relaxes toward the MichieKing background and resembles it to a fair degree afier 510 relaxation times, defined in a convenient way. Subject headings: gravitation  stars: stellar dynamics
 Publication:

The Astrophysical Journal
 Pub Date:
 December 1977
 DOI:
 10.1086/155740
 Bibcode:
 1977ApJ...218..846I
 Keywords:

 FokkerPlanck Equation;
 Galactic Evolution;
 Gravitational Fields;
 Star Distribution;
 Stellar Motions;
 Astrodynamics;
 Astronomical Models;
 Boundary Value Problems;
 Equations Of Motion;
 Numerical Analysis;
 Stellar Gravitation;
 Astrophysics