Stellar Dynamics of Dense Stellar Systems
Stellar dynamics is almost unreasonably well suited for an implementation in terms of special-purpose hardware. Unlike the case of molecular dynamics, stellar dynamics deals exclusively with a long-range force, gravity, which leads to a computational cost scaling as the square of the number of stars involved. While special tricks can lead to a reduction of this cost from N N2 to N log N in the case of very large particle numbers, such tricks are not suitable for all areas within stellar dynamics. When a stellar system is close to equilibrium, and has a very high density, it still pays to compute all interactions on a star by star basis, even for N = 105. Any cN log N approach would either gloss over the subtle net effects of near-canceling interactions, driving the evolution of such a system, or would carry a prohibitively large coefficient c. This paper presents a brief introduction to the stellar dynamics of dense stellar systems, aimed at researchers using special purpose computers in other branches of physics.
KeywordsBlack Hole Neutron Star Globular Cluster Hubble Space Telescope Star Cluster
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