Reference Entry

virial theorem

Edited by Ian Ridpath

in A Dictionary of Astronomy

Third edition


Published online February 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191851193

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Astronomical Instrumentation, Methods, and Techniques
  • Galaxies

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

A way of estimating the total mass of an object such as a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies from the movement of its individual members. The theorem states that the average gravitational potential energy of the constituent objects is twice their average kinetic energy. Calculations with the virial theorem show that galaxies and clusters contain up to ten times as much mass as can be seen telescopically, providing strong evidence for the existence of large quantities of ...

Reference Entry.  165 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics ; Astronomical Instrumentation, Methods, and Techniques ; Galaxies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.