Origin of Chaos and Orbital Behaviour in Slowly Rotating Triaxial Models

  • Stéphane Udry
  • Louis Martinet
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 272)


It is now well accepted that rotating triaxial models may provide good representations of stellar systems like elliptical galaxies, cD galaxies, spiral bulges or bars. These systems are known to possibly have very different structural and dynamical parameters such as axis ratios, figure rotation or central density slope. In order to understand the shape of such systems and with a future aim of constructing self-gravitating models, it is necessary to know the structure and stability of orbits in triaxial models. The main stable periodic orbits form the backbone around which the global structure is built, whereas unstable orbits can contribute to trigger chaos and evolution in the system. In particular cases, resonant periodic orbits occupying a large volume in phase space also may play a non-negligible role in the construction of the skeleton of the system (Miralda-Escudé and Schwarzschild, 1989; Pfenniger and de Zeeuw, 1989). Our purpose in the present paper is to give the main results of a systematic study of the periodic orbits, the resonances and the onset of chaos in models with various axis ratios, figure rotation and central mass concentration (For more details see Martinet and Udry, 1990; and Udry, 1991).


Periodic Orbit Rotation Number Axis Ratio Elliptical Galaxy Characteristic Diagram 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stéphane Udry
    • 1
  • Louis Martinet
    • 1
  1. 1.Geneva ObservatorySauvernySwitzerland

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