Runaway collisions in young star clusters - I. Methods and tests

Freitag, Marc, Rasio, Frederic A. and Baumgardt, Holger (2006) Runaway collisions in young star clusters - I. Methods and tests. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 368 1: 121-140. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10095.x


Author Freitag, Marc
Rasio, Frederic A.
Baumgardt, Holger
Title Runaway collisions in young star clusters - I. Methods and tests
Journal name Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0035-8711
1365-2966
Publication date 2006-05
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10095.x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 368
Issue 1
Start page 121
End page 140
Total pages 20
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We present the methods and preparatory work for our study of the collisional runaway scenario to form a very massive star (VMS, M∗ > 400M) at the centre of a young, compact stellar cluster. In the first phase of the process, a very dense central core of massive stars (M∗≃  30–120M) forms through mass segregation and gravothermal collapse. This leads to a collisional stage, likely to result in the formation of a VMS (itself a possible progenitor for an intermediate-mass black hole) through a runaway sequence of mergers between the massive stars. In this paper, we present the runaway scenario in a general astrophysical context. We then explain the numerical method used to investigate it. Our approach is based on a Monte Carlo code to simulate the stellar dynamics of spherical star clusters, using a very large number of particles (a few 105 to several 106). Finally, we report on test computations carried out to ensure that our implementation of the important physics is sound. In a second paper,we present results from more than 100 cluster simulations realized to determine the conditions leading to the collisional formation of a VMS and the characteristics of the runaway sequences.
Keyword Stellar dynamics
Methods : N-body simulations
Stars : formation
Galaxies : nuclei
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
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