Gravity and thermodynamics: Fundamental principles and gravothermal instability

G. Fragione*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Globular clusters are stellar systems in which thermodynamics plays a fundamental role. Classically these systems are described by non-relativistic single mass King distribution function, which derives from the Fokker-Planck equation by taking into account stellar collisions and host galaxy tidal confinement. In terms of statistical mechanics the available phase space is restricted and so thermodynamics variables assume different meaning respect to the Boltzmann distribution. Through the introduction of an effective potential, which stands for the galactic tidal forces, a new thermodynamic theory is developed and theoretical energy and specific heat profiles are given for globular clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012024
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Event5th Young Researcher Meeting, YRM 2014 - Trieste, Italy
Duration: Jul 14 2014Jul 15 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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