ITC Special Seminar - Konstantin Batygin


Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 10:00am to 11:00am


"Schrödinger Evolution of Self-Gravitating Disks"

An understanding of the long-term evolution of self-gravitating disks ranks among the classic outstanding problems of astrophysics. In this talk, I will show that under suitable assumptions, the secular dynamics of quasi-Keplerian disks can be described by the time-dependent Schrödinger equation. In this context, apsidal density waves and nodal bending waves of a purely Newtonian disk correspond to the eigenmodes of a quasiparticle's wavefunction, confined in an infinite square well with boundaries given by the radial extent of the disk. I will further argue that external secular perturbations upon self-gravitating disks exhibit a mathematical similarity to quantum scattering theory. Applications of the theory to circumstellar disks and Galactic nuclei will be discussed.