STRW local: Lunch

Lunch Talks

Galactic disc profiles and a universal angular momentum distribution from statistical physics

We show that the stellar surface-brightness profiles in disc galaxies---observed to be approximately exponential---can be explained if radial migration efficiently scrambles the individual stars' angular momenta while conserving the circularity of the orbits and the total mass and angular momentum. In this case the disc's distribution of specific angular momenta $j$ should be near a maximum-entropy state and therefore approximately exponential, $dN\propto\exp(-j/\langle j\rangle)dj$. This distribution translates to a surface-density profile that is generally not an exponential function of radius: $\Sigma(R)\propto\exp[-R/R_e(R)]/(RR_e(R))(1+d\log v_c(R)/d\log R)$, for a rotation curve $v_c(R)$ and $R_e(R)\equiv\langle j\rangle/v_c(R)$. We show that such a profile matches the observed surface-brightness profiles of disc-dominated galaxies as well as the empirical exponential profile. Disc galaxies that exhibit population gradients cannot have fully reached a maximum-entropy state but appear to be close enough that their surface-brightness profiles are well-fit by this idealized model.


Unless announced otherwise, the lunch talks start at 12:30 sharp. The approximate duration of the lunch talk is given above, and additional time will be given for questions and discussion following the presentation. Please make sure that you take ample time to pick up your lunch beforehand.

Information for Speakers and Hosts: Talks by internal speakers are limited to 20 minutes, with additional time for questions. Visiting speakers can have up to 30 minutes, with additional time for questions. Hosts are responsible for bringing the speaker to the correct room in ample time to set up laptops etc., and for ensuring the speaker also has time for lunch.

For questions and/or suggestions concerning the lunch talks, please contact Camila Correa () or Alvaro Hacar ()).