Journal Article

Actions for axisymmetric potentials

James Binney

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 426, issue 2, pages 1324-1327
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21757.x
Actions for axisymmetric potentials

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We give an algorithm for the economical calculation of angles and actions for stars in axisymmetric potentials. We test the algorithm by integrating orbits in a realistic model of the Galactic potential, and find that, even for orbits characteristic of thick-disc stars, the errors in the actions are typically smaller than 2 per cent. We describe a scheme for obtaining actions by interpolation on tabulated values that significantly accelerates the process of calculating observables quantities, such as density and velocity moments, from a distribution function.

Keywords: Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics

Journal Article.  2747 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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