Kinetic theory of Jeans instability

S. A. Trigger, A. I. Ershkovich, G. J.F. Van Heijst, P. P.J.M. Schram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kinetic treatment of the Jeans gravitational instability, with collisions taken into account, is presented. The initial-value problem for the distribution function which obeys the kinetic equation, with the collision integral conserving the number of particles, is solved. Dispersion relation is obtained and analyzed. New modes are found. Collisions are shown not to affect the Jeans instability criterion. Although the instability growth rate diminishes, the collisions they cannot quench the instability. However, the oscillation spectrum is modified significantly: even in the neighborhood of the threshold frequency [Formula presented] (separating stable and unstable modes) the spectrum of oscillations can strongly depend on the collision frequency. Propagating (rather than aperiodic) modes are also found. These modes, however, are strongly damped.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)066403-1-066403-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2004


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