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Secular evolution of self-gravitating systems

Event description

Self-gravitating systems -- such as star clusters, stellar discs, and dark matter halos -- are rich with dynamical phenomena. They exhibit both resonant (long-range) and non-resonant (short-range) dynamics, with unclear transition regimes. The coupling of linear response theory, kinetic theory, quasilinear theory, and N-body approaches for studying self-gravitating systems is now within reach, owing to recent theoretical breakthroughs. This workshop will bring together dynamicists with expertise in all these areas for a direct comparison of techniques.

See the full timetable on the Indico page.

The workshop aims to support mathematical advancements for the description of self-gravitating astrophysical systems. The workshop is built to further nurture the recent renaissance of interest in kinetic theory of self-gravitating systems, as driven by the interpretation of empirical phase space measurements from the Gaia satellite and other observational facilities.

Topics we aim to discuss:

  • Linear response theory
  • Kinematic complexity
  • Potential fluctuation theory
  • N-body approaches
  • Quasilinear theory
  • Tidal evolution theory

No pre-arranged contributed talks or invited talks are envisaged, the main goal for the workshop is to stimulate collective, open conversations and thematic contributions as blackboard discussions. Broad topics have been chosen to foster cross-pollination of expertise and ideas. Please check back for additional scheduling information.

 Registration is now open

Please note this is an in-person event and registration will be moderated by the organisers.

Limited funding is available to support attendance. If you would like to apply for funding please contact Mike Petersen and Anna Lisa Varri  by  1 March 2023.



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Secular evolution of self-gravitating systems


Higgs Centre Seminar Room, JCMB (Find us on campus maps)
The Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics
School of Physics and Astronomy
James Clerk Maxwell Building, 4305
Peter Guthrie Tait Road


  • Jean-Baptiste Fouvry
    • Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris
  • Michael Petersen
    • University of Edinburgh
    • Royal Observatory, Edinburgh
  • Christophe Pichon
    • Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris
  • Anna Lisa Varri
    • University of Edinburgh

Register for this event

Registration closes on Friday 7 April 2023.