Thursday, August 1, 2013

1307.8116 (Eugene Vasiliev)

A new code for orbit analysis and Schwarzschild modelling of triaxial stellar systems    [PDF]

Eugene Vasiliev
We review the methods used to study the orbital structure and chaotic properties of various galactic models and to construct self-consistent equilibrium solutions by Schwarzschild's orbit superposition technique. These methods are implemented in a new publicly available software tool, SMILE, which is intended to be a convenient and interactive instrument for studying a variety of 2D and 3D models, including arbitrary potentials represented by a basis-set expansion, a spherical-harmonic expansion with coefficients being smooth functions of radius (splines), or a set of fixed point masses. We also propose two new variants of Schwarzschild modelling, in which the density of each orbit is represented by the coefficients of the basis-set or spline spherical-harmonic expansion, and the orbit weights are assigned in such a way as to reproduce the coefficients of the underlying density model. We explore the accuracy of these general-purpose potential expansions and show that they may be efficiently used to approximate a wide range of analytic density models and serve as smooth representations of discrete particle sets (e.g. snapshots from an N-body simulation), for instance, for the purpose of orbit analysis of the snapshot. For the variants of Schwarzschild modelling, we use two test cases - a triaxial Dehnen model containing a central black hole, and a model re-created from an N-body snapshot obtained by a cold collapse. These tests demonstrate that all modelling approaches are capable of creating equilibrium models.
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