Many astrophysical problems, ranging from structure formation in cosmology to dynamics of elliptical galaxies, refer to slow processes of evolution of essentially collisionless self-gravitating systems. In order to determine the relevant quasi-equilibrium configuration at time t from given initial conditions, it is often argued that such slow evolution may be approximated in terms of adiabatic evolution, for the calculation of which efficient semi--analytical techniques are available. Here we focus on the slow process of evolution, induced by dynamical friction of a host stellar system on a minority component of "satellites", to determine to what extent an adiabatic description might be applied. The study is realized by means of N--body simulations of the evolution of the total system (the stellar system plus the minority component), in a controlled numerical environment. In particular, we compare the evolution from initial to final configurations of the system subject to dynamical friction with that of the same system evolved adiabatically (in the absence of dynamical friction). We consider two classes of galaxy models characterized by significantly different density and pressure anisotropy profiles. We demonstrate that, for the examined process, the evolution driven by dynamical friction is significantly different from the adiabatic case, not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively. The two classes of galaxy models considered in this investigation exhibit generally similar trends in evolution, with one exception: concentrated models reach a final total density profile, in the internal region, shallower than the initial one, while galaxy models with a broad core show the opposite behaviour. The evolution of elliptical galaxies induced by dynamical friction is a slow process but it is not adiabatic. The results of our investigation should be taken as a warning against the indiscriminate use of adiabatic growth prescriptions in studies of the structure of galaxies.
Non Adiabatic Evolution of Elliptical Galaxies by Dynamical Friction / S.E. Arena, G. Bertin, T. Liseykina, F. Pegoraro (PROCEEDINGS OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL UNION). - In: Galaxy Evolution Across the Hubble Time / [a cura di] F. Combes, J. Palous. - [s.l] : Cambridge University Press : International Astronomical Union, 2007. - pp. 188-188 (( convegno IAU Symposium tenutosi a Prague (Czech Republic) nel 2006.
|Titolo:||Non Adiabatic Evolution of Elliptical Galaxies by Dynamical Friction|
ARENA, SERENA EMILY (Primo)
BERTIN, GIUSEPPE (Secondo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore FIS/05 - Astronomia e Astrofisica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1743921306005941|
|Tipologia:||Book Part (author)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in volume|
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