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Swing amplification of nonaxisymmetric perturbations in stars and gas in a sheared galactic disk

Jog, Chanda J (1992) Swing amplification of nonaxisymmetric perturbations in stars and gas in a sheared galactic disk. In: Astrophysical Journal, 390 (2). pp. 378-386.

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We present a study of the growth of local, nonaxisymmetric perturbations in gravitationally coupled stars and gas in a differentially rotating galactic disk. The stars and gas are treated as two isothermal fluids of different velocity dispersions, with the stellar velocity dispersion being greater than that for the gas. We examine the physical effects of inclusion of a low-velocity dispersion component (gas) on the growth of non-axisymmetric perturbations in both stars and gas, as done for the axisymmetric case by Jog & Solomon. The amplified perturbations in stars and gas constitute trailing, material, spiral features which may be identified with the local spiral features seen in all spiral galaxies. The formulation of the two-fluid equations closely follows the one-fluid treatment by Goldreich & Lynden-Bell. The local, linearized perturbation equations in the sheared frame are solved to obtain the results for a temporary growth via swing amplification. The problem is formulated in terms of five dimensionless parameters-namely, the Q-factors for stars and gas, respectively; the gas mass fraction; the shearing rate in the galactic disk; and the length scale of perturbation. By using the observed values of these parameters, we obtain the amplifications and the pitch angles for features in stars and gas for dynamically distinct cases, as applicable for different regions of spiral galaxies. A real galaxy consisting of stars and gas may display growth of nonaxisymmetric perturbations even when it is stable against axisymmetric perturbations and/or when either fluid by itself is stable against non-axisymmetric perturbations. Due to its lower velocity dispersion, the gas exhibits a higher amplification than do the stars, and the amplified gas features are slightly more tightly wound than the stellar features. When the gas contribution is high, the stellar amplification and the range of pitch angles over which it can occur are both increased, due to the gravitational coupling between the two fluids. Thus, the two-fluid scheme can explain the origin of the broad spiral arms in the underlying old stellar populations of galaxies, as observed by Schweizer and Elmegreen & Elmegreen. The arms are predicted to be broader in gas-rich galaxies, as is indeed seen for example in M33. In the linear regime studied here, the arm contrast is shown to increase with radius in the inner Galaxy, in agreement with observations of external galaxies by Schweizer. These results follow directly due to the inclusion of gas in the problem.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to University of Chicago Press.
Keywords: Galaxies-Ism;Galaxies-Kinematics And Dynamics;Galaxies-Spiral;Hydrodynamics;Instabilities.
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 30 May 2011 06:02
Last Modified: 30 May 2011 06:02
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/37758

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