Theoretical physics digest Wiki

Hydrostatic gravitating systems (HGE) is a name we've given to a large variety of models that describe a self gravitating blob of gas. Some models apply to stars, while others apply to star clusters and galaxies. However, since they have so much in common, we decided to unite them in a single entry. The governing equations are the hydrostatic equation

where is the pressure, is the density and is the gravitational potential. Another governing equation is the Virial theorem. According to which, the thermal velocity is the same order of magnitude as the escape velocity

The gravitational potential is given by the Poisson equation

Spherical Models[]

Spherical symmetry immensely simplifies the governing equations. The hydrostatic equation becomes

where is the mass enclosed within a radius .

The Virial theorem is

Uniform Density Sphere[]

The density of a sphere of mass and radius is . The mass enclosed within each radius is

The gravitational potential is

Isothermal Sphere[]

If the temperature is constant then



This divergence drove many researchers to try and find a better model.

Plummer Model[]

This model attempts to avoid the divergences by softening the gravitational potential

where is the softening length. The corresponding density distribution is

This model is the same as a polytrope of index 5.