AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 91 Galaxy Surveys
Poster, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[91.11] Chaos in Violent Relaxation

I. M. Vass, H. E. Kandrup, B. Terzic (University of Florida)

We present evidence that collisionless simulations of galaxy formation can lead to substantial amounts of chaos, and that this chaos can play an important role in driving the galaxy towards a `well-mixed' state. Earlier numerical integrations of orbits in fixed potentials had shown (Kandrup, Vass, & Sideris, MNRAS 341, 927-936, 2003) that a period of time-dependence with a strong, possibly damped, oscillatory component can trigger large amounts of transient chaos, and it had been argued that resonant phase mixing associated with this transient chaos could play a major role in accounting for the speed and efficiency in violent relaxation. Simulations described here corroborate this physical expectation, thereby reinforcing the idea that violent relaxation can be interpreted as a collective process driven (e.g., Terzic & Kandrup, MNRAS, in press, 2003) by resonances between the frequencies of bulk oscillations and the natural frequencies of individual orbits.

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