Long-Term Dynamics of High Mass Ratio Multiples
CitationLi, Gongjie. 2015. Long-Term Dynamics of High Mass Ratio Multiples. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis thesis presents a series of studies on the dynamics of high mass ratio multiples, with applications to planetary systems orbiting stars and stellar systems orbiting supermassive black holes (SMBHs).
Almost two thousand exoplanetary systems have recently been discovered, and their configurations gave rise to new puzzles to planetary formation theories. We studied the dynamics of planetary systems aiming to understand how the configuration of planetary system is sculptured and to probe the origin of planetary systems. First, we discussed hierarchical three-body dynamics, which can be applied to planets that are orbiting a star while perturbed by a planet or a star that is farther away. The perturbation from the farther object can flip the planetary orbits and produce counter orbiting hot Jupiters, which cannot be formed in the classical planetary formation theory. In addition, we have studied the scatter encounter of planetary systems in clusters, which produce eccentric and inclined planets. Moreover, we investigated the obliquity variation of planets, which can be applied to exoplanetary systems. The obliquity variation is important to the habitability of the exoplanets.
The long term dynamics is also important to stellar systems orbiting SMBHs. SMBHs are common in the center of galaxies and lead to rich dynamical interactions with nearby stars. At the same time, dynamical features of the nearby stars reveal important properties of the SMBHs. The aforementioned hierarchical three-body dynamics can be applied to stars near SMBH binaries, which are natural consequences of galaxy mergers. We found that the distribution of stars surrounding one of the SMBHs results in a shape of torus due to the perturbation from the other SMBH, and the dynamical interactions contribute to an enhancement of tidal disruption rates, which can help identify the SMBH binaries. In addition, we investigated the heating of stars near SMBHs, where the heating of stars due to gravitational waves as the SMBHs merge may mark the merger, and provide electromagnetic counterpart for gravitational wave detection. Moreover, the accumulated tidal heating of stars may cause the stars to be more vulnerable for tidal disruptions, as the stars orbit around a SMBH in an eccentric orbit.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17467288
- FAS Theses and Dissertations