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Higgs Hour: 'Small stellar systems, big astrophysical questions'



The blooming era of ‘precision astrometry’ for Galactic studies opened by Gaia and the revolutionary beginnings of ‘gravitational wave astronomy’ enabled by LIGO truly bring the rich internal dynamics of collisional stellar systems to the centre stage. But the current interpretative picture of the role of ‘small scales’ in the assembly of cosmic structures cannot cope with such new-generation data and theoretical ambitions, therefore a modern view of low-mass stellar systems within the rapidly evolving landscape of ‘near-field’ cosmology is needed. In this thriving context, I will present the highlights of a more realistic dynamical paradigm for globular clusters and other collisional systems. Their emerging richness will allow us to address three questions at the forefront of current astrophysical research: How did the first stellar aggregates form in the early universe? Is there a 'missing link' between stellar and super-massive black holes? Where is the limit for the presence of the invisible ‘dark’ matter on small astrophysical scales?

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Higgs Hour: 'Small stellar systems, big astrophysical questions'

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