SCYON Abstract

Received on February 21 2006

Star Clusters with Primordial Binaries: I. Dynamical Evolution of Isolated Models

AuthorsD.C. Heggie(1), M. Trenti(2,3), P. Hut(4)
(1) School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, Scotland, U.K.
(2) Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza dei Cavalieri 7, I-56126 Pisa, Italy
(3) Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University, 606-8502 Kyoto, Japan
(4) Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
Accepted byMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


In order to interpret the results of complex realistic star cluster simulations, which rely on many simplifying approximations and assumptions, it is essential to study the behavior of even more idealized models, which can highlight the essential physical effects and are amenable to more exact methods. With this aim, we present the results of N-body calculations of the evolution of equal-mass models, starting with primordial binary fractions of 0 - 100 %, with values of N ranging from 256 to 16384. This allows us to extrapolate the main features of the evolution to systems comparable in particle number with globular clusters. In this range, we find that the steady-state `deuterium main sequence' is characterized by a ratio of the core radius to half-mass radius that follows qualitatively the analytical estimate by Vesperini & Chernoff (1994), although the N dependence is steeper than expected. Interestingly, for an initial binary fraction f greater than 10%, the binary heating in the core during the post collapse phase almost saturates (becoming nearly independent of f), and so little variation in the structural properties is observed. Thus, although we observe a significantly lower binary abundance in the core with respect to the Fokker-Planck simulations by Gao et al. (1991), this is of little dynamical consequence. At variance with the study of Gao et al. (1991), we see no sign of gravothermal oscillations before 150 halfmass relaxation times. At later times, however, oscillations become prominent. We demonstrate the gravothermal nature of these oscillations.