Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 10:30
Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Laboratory
Who can fail to be impressed by the grand sweep of spiral arms across the face of a galaxy? Look deeper and galaxies also pose fascinating problems in non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. The dominant interparticle force (gravity) is long range, which means that galaxies have no state of maximum entropy. An important consequence is that they have long memories, which is good news for astronomers trying to understand how they form and evolve. The lectures will give a pedagogical introduction to some of the galaxy dynamics work being carried out at the Rudolf Peierls Centre.