The Monte Carlo approach: Fast simulations of collisional self-gravitating systems

Marc Freitag
Northwestern University
Physics & Astronomy

The simulation of clusters of 1e5 to 1e8 stars is a challenging problem. Their secular evolution is driven by 2-body relaxation, stellar evolution, binary interactions, direct stellar collisions and, in some cases like galactic nuclei, the interplay between the stars and a central black hole. The Monte Carlo algorithm, pioneered by Hénon some 30 years ago, allows fast simulations of spherical stellar systems in dynamical equilibrium including this rich physics. In my talk, I'll explain the principles of this nummerical scheme and present a variety of results, ranging from the formation of a very massive star in a young cluster through collisional runaway to capture of stars by a massive black hole in a galactic nucleus.

Presentation (PDF File)

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