Tuesday, May 30, 2017
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.