Thermodynamics of rotating self-gravitating systems
Hahn-Meitner-Institut, Bereich Theoretische Physik,
Glienickerstr. 100, 14109 Berlin, Germany
Corresponding author: a email@example.com
Published online: 15 October 2002
We investigate the statistical equilibrium properties of a system of classical particles interacting via Newtonian gravity, enclosed in a three-dimensional spherical volume. Within a mean-field approximation, we derive an equation for the density profiles maximizing the microcanonical entropy and solve it numerically. At low angular momenta, i.e. for a slowly rotating system, the well-known gravitational collapse “transition” is recovered. At higher angular momenta, instead, rotational symmetry can spontaneously break down giving rise to more complex equilibrium configurations, such as double-clusters (“double stars”). We analyze the thermodynamics of the system and the stability of the different equilibrium configurations against rotational symmetry breaking, and provide the global phase diagram.
PACS: 05.20.-y – Classical statistical mechanics / 04.40.-b – Self-gravitating systems / 64.60.Cn – Order-disorder transformations; statistical mechanics of model systems
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2002