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Title: Dynamical friction in multi-component evolving globular clusters

We use the Chandrasekhar formalism and direct N-body simulations to study the effect of dynamical friction on a test object only slightly more massive than the field stars, orbiting a spherically symmetric background of particles with a mass spectrum. The main goal is to verify whether the dynamical friction time (t {sub DF}) develops a non-monotonic radial dependence that could explain the bimodality of the blue straggler radial distributions observed in globular clusters. In these systems, in fact, relaxation effects lead to a mass and velocity radial segregation of the different mass components, so that mass-spectrum effects on t {sub DF} are expected to be dependent on radius. We find that in spite of the presence of different masses, t {sub DF} is always a monotonic function of radius, at all evolutionary times and independently of the initial concentration of the simulated cluster. This is because the radial dependence of t {sub DF} is largely dominated by the total mass density profile of the background stars (which is monotonically decreasing with radius). Hence, a progressive temporal erosion of the blue straggler star (BSS) population at larger and larger distances from the cluster center remains the simplest and the most likelymore » explanation of the shape of the observed BSS radial distributions, as suggested in previous works. We also confirm the theoretical expectation that approximating a multi-mass globular cluster as made of (averaged) equal-mass stars can lead to significant overestimations of t {sub DF} within the half-mass radius.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna, viale Berti Pichat, 6/2, I-40127 Bologna (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370031
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 795; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; APPROXIMATIONS; CONCENTRATION RATIO; DENSITY; DISTANCE; EROSION; MANY-BODY PROBLEM; MASS; MASS SPECTRA; RELAXATION; SEGREGATION; SIMULATION; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION; SPHERICAL CONFIGURATION; STARS; SYMMETRY; VELOCITY