DDA 33rd Meeting, Mt. Hood, OR, April 2002
Session 10. Galaxies
Tuesday, April 23, 2002, 1:30-3:00pm

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[10.01 I] Chaos and Galaxy Evolution

H. E. Kandrup (University of Florida)

This talk summarises a combined theoretical and numerical investigation of the role of chaos and transient chaos in time-dependent Hamiltonian systems which aim to model elliptical galaxies. The existence of large amounts of chaos in near-equilibrium configurations is of potential importance because configurations incorporating large numbers of chaotic orbits appear to be substantially more susceptible than nearly integrable systems to various irregularities associated with, e.g., internal substructures, satellite galaxies, and/or the effects of a high density environment. Alternatively, transient chaos, reflecting exponential sensitivity over comparatively short time intervals, can prove important by significantly increasing the overall efficiency of violent relaxation so as to facilitate a more rapid evolution towards a `well-mixed' equilibrium. Completely conclusive `smoking gun' evidence for chaos and chaotic mixing has not yet been obtained, although evidence for the presence of chaos can in principle be extracted from such data sets as provided by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Interestingly, however, arguments completely analogous to those applied to self-gravitating systems also suggest the presence of chaos in charged particle beams, a setting which is amenable to controlled experiments.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3
© 2002. The American Astronomical Society.