Journal Article

A hybrid <i>N</i>-body code incorporating algorithmic regularization and post-Newtonian forces

S. Harfst, A. Gualandris, D. Merritt and S. Mikkola

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 389, issue 1, pages 2-12
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13557.x
A hybrid N-body code incorporating algorithmic regularization and post-Newtonian forces

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We describe a novel N-body code designed for simulations of the central regions of galaxies containing massive black holes. The code incorporates Mikkola's ‘algorithmic’ chain regularization scheme including post-Newtonian terms up to PN2.5 order. Stars moving beyond the chain are advanced using a fourth-order integrator with forces computed on a GRAPE board. Performance tests confirm that the hybrid code achieves better energy conservation, in less elapsed time, than the standard scheme and that it reproduces the orbits of stars tightly bound to the black hole with high precision. The hybrid code is applied to two sample problems: the effect of finite-N gravitational fluctuations on the orbits of the S-stars, and inspiral of an intermediate-mass black hole into the Galactic Centre.

Keywords: stellar dynamics; methods: N-body simulations; galaxy: centre

Journal Article.  7126 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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