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Dynamics and Thermodynamics of systems with long range interactions: theory and experiments, Assisi : Italie (2007)
Infinite self-gravitating systems and cosmological structure formation
M. Joyce1

The usual thermodynamic limit for systems of classical self-gravitating point particles becomes well defined, as a {\it dynamical} problem, using a simple physical prescription for the calculation of the force, equivalent to the so-called ``Jeans' swindle''. The relation of the resulting intrinsically out of equilibrium problem, of particles evolving from prescribed uniform initial conditions in an infinite space, to the one studied in current cosmological models (in an expanding universe) is explained. We then describe results of a numerical study of the dynamical evolution of such a system, starting from a simple class of infinite ``shuffled lattice'' initial conditions. The clustering, which develops in time starting from scales around the grid scale, is qualitatively very similar to that seen in cosmological simulations, which begin from lattices with applied correlated displacements and incorporate an expanding spatial background. From very soon after the formation of the first non-linear structures, a spatio-temporal scaling relation describes well the evolution of the two-point correlations. At larger times the dynamics of these correlations converges to what is termed ``self-similar'' evolution in cosmology, in which the time dependence in the scaling relation is specified entirely by that of the linearized fluid theory. We show how this statistical mechanical ``toy model'' can be useful in addressing various questions about these systems which are relevant in cosmology. Some of these questions are closely analagous to those currently studied in the literature on long range interactions, notably the relation of the evolution of the particle system to that in the Vlasov limit and the nature of approximately quasi-stationary states.
1 :  LPNHE - Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et de Hautes Énergies
Physique/Astrophysique/Cosmologie et astrophysique extra-galactique

Physique/Matière Condensée/Mécanique statistique

Physique/Relativité Générale et Cosmologie Quantique

Planète et Univers/Astrophysique
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