Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 187–212 | Cite as

Vibrational stability of rotating stars

  • Zdeněk Kopal


The aim of the present paper will be to detail the explicit form of the equations which govern first-order oscillations of fast-rotating globes of self-gravitating fluids; with due account taken of the effects arising from the centrifugal as well as Coriolis force. As such configurations oscillate in general about distorted figures of equilibrium, the equations governing them can be conveniently expressed in terms of the Clairaut coordinates, associated with distorted spheroidal figures, and introduced in our previous paper (Kopal, 1980) for this purpose.

In Section 2 which follows a brief outline of our problem, the equilibrium properties of fast-rotating configurations or arbitrary structure will be formulated. In Section 3 we shall carry out a separation of the variables in the equations of motion, and reduce the partial differential equations of the problem to an equivalent system of ordinary differential equations, by an expansion of expressions for the velocity componentsU, V, W in terms of tesseral harmonicsY n m (ϑ, ϕ). The explicit form of such a system, including the effects of all tesseral harmonics of orders up tom=n=4, will be specified in Section 3 for configurations whose equilibrium form is a sphere; while in Section 4 this latter condition will be relaxed to allow for the equilibrium configuration to become a rotational spheroid.

In the concluding Section 5 we shall convert the complex form of our equations of motion into real terms, amenable to a solution-analytical or numerical-in terms of real variables; and shall establish the boundary conditions necessary for a specification of the characteristic frequencies of oscillation.


Partial Differential Equation Ordinary Differential Equation Explicit Form Characteristic Frequency Coriolis Force 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zdeněk Kopal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of ManchesterEngland

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