Tuesday, May 30, 2017
4:00 pm
South Mudd 365

Planetary Science Seminar

Secular dynamics around massive central bodies (or How, once again, slow need not be gentle)
Jihad Touma, Professor, American University of Beirut
I will project a bird's eye view of secular dynamical processes which, slowly but "surely", sculpt the architecture of systems of self-gravitating particles within the reach of a dominating central body. Such systems are characterized by a hierarchy of timescales which makes for economy of mathematical means in the study of their long term dynamical evolution. Some will get disrupted on potentially rough rides through secular resonances; others will self-organize through symmetry-breaking phase transitions. Structures ranging in scale from multi-planets in wide binaries, to stellar black hole nuclei (Andromeda's in particular) will provide a natural playground in which to follow processes at work, and feature powerful tools with which we apprehend them.
Contact Elizabeth Bailey ebailey@caltech.edu
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