Monte Carlo simulations of globular cluster evolution. IV. Direct integration of strong interactions

John M. Fregeau*, Frederic A. Rasio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


We study the dynamical evolution of globular clusters containing populations of primordial binaries, using our newly updated Monte Carlo cluster evolution code with the inclusion of direct integration of binary scattering interactions. We describe the modifications we have made to the code, as well as improvements we have made to the core Monte Carlo method. We present several test calculations to verify the validity of the new code and perform many comparisons with previous analytical and numerical work in the literature. We simulate the evolution of a large grid of models, with a wide range of initial cluster profiles and with binary fractions ranging from 0 to 1, and compare with observations of Galactic globular clusters. We find that our code yields very good agreement with direct N-body simulations of clusters with primordial binaries, but yields some results that differ significantly from other approximate methods. Notably, the direct integration of binary interactions reduces their energy generation rate relative to the simple recipes used in Paper III and yields smaller core radii. Our results for the structural parameters of clusters during the binary-burning phase are now in the tail of the range of parameters for observed clusters, implying that either clusters are bom significantly more or less centrally concentrated than has been previously considered or there are additional physical processes beyond two-body relaxation and binary interactions that affect the structural characteristics of clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1061
Number of pages15
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007


  • Globular clusters: general
  • Methods: numerical
  • Stellar dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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