Stellar dynamics at the centers of galaxies

Prof. Scott Tremaine

Abstract

The massive black holes found at the centers of most nearby galaxies including our own, are believed to be the ashes of the fuel that powered quasars early in the history of the universe. I will briefly review the astronomical evidence for these objects and then describe some of the exotic dynamical phenomena that originate in their vicinity, including hypervelocity stars, resonant relaxation, and warped and lopsided stellar disks.

About the talk

Stellar dynamics at the centers of galaxies
Prof. Scott Tremaine
Institute for Advanced Study, Univ. Princeton, USA
Thursday June 30, 2011
en     en

About the speaker

Scott Tremaine has made seminal contributions to understanding the formation and evolution of planetary systems, comets, black holes, star clusters, galaxies, and galaxy systems. He predicted the Kuiper belt of comets beyond Neptune and, with Peter Goldreich, the existence of shepherd satellites and density waves in Saturn's ring system, as well as the phenomenon of planetary migration. He interpreted double-nuclei galaxies, such as the nearby Andromeda galaxy, as eccentric stellar disks, and elucidated the role of dynamical friction in galaxy evolution.

Professor Tremaine is one of the most important astronomers of our generation. He has published fundamental papers in the field of the dynamics of galaxies and planets. He is perhaps best known for the book he wrote with James Binney, the classic work "Galactic Dynamics".