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Physics  1998 

The Dynamical Evolution of Dense Rotating Systems: Paper II. Mergers and Stellar Evolution

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We report the results of simulations of dense rotating stellar systems whose members suffer collisions and undergo stellar evolution processes. The initial configuration for each experiment is an isotropic Kuzmin-Kutuzov model. The dynamical evolution is simulated with the N-body tree code of Hernquist, modified to incorporate physical stellar collisions, stellar evolution, stellar mass loss and compact remnant formation, and star formation. In some simulations we have added a large accreting central black hole. In all systems the velocity dispersion in the halo evolves toward a radially biased state. In systems containing a central black hole, the dispersion becomes tangentially biased in the core, whereas it remains isotropic in systems with no black hole. Collisions tend to produce a single dominant stellar merger product, as opposed to a swarm of intermediate-mass stars. In cases where we have suppressed all processes except relaxation and physical collisions, objects with greater flattening produce larger stars through mergers. In systems where stellar ejecta are allowed to escape the system, mass loss from the heavy core stars temporarily reduces the core density and collision rate. Most of the simulations performed reproduced the ratio of the central collision time scale to the central relaxation time scale found in the dwarf elliptical galaxy M32. The rapid central evolution of these systems due to collisions and relaxation, combined with scaling the results in N, suggests that we are either viewing M32 at a peculiar moment in its history, or that its dynamically-inferred central density is at least in part due to the present of a massive dark object, presumably a black hole.


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