Theoretical Physics Colloquium: Stellar Dynamics in Galactic Nuclei

Seminars and colloquia
Lindemann Lecture Theatre
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
Seminar series
Theoretical physics colloquia
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Most galaxies harbor a supermassive black hole in their centre around which orbits a stellar cluster, the galactic nucleus. The unique proximity of the Milky-Way's central black hole, SgrA*, offers an extraordinary opportunity to study such a crowded environment. Although galactic nuclei are among the densest stellar systems in the universe, the steep potential well generated by the central black hole allows for efficient long-term orbit-averaged interactions between the stars.

Ultimately, this drives the relaxation of the stellar orbits through an intricate hierarchy of dynamical processes. In this presentation, I will report on recent developments in kinetic theory, describe efficient numerical methods to simulate these dynamics, and present first quantitative applications of these frameworks to constrain SgrA*'s stellar content.