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Unstable spiral modes in disk-shaped galaxies

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  • Physical Sciences: Astronomy


The mechanisms for the maintenance and the excitation of trailing spiral modes of density waves in diskshaped galaxies, as proposed by Lin in 1969 and by Mark recently, are substantiated by an analysis of the gas-dynamical model of the galaxy. The self-excitation of the unstable mode in caused by waves propagating outwards from the corotation circle, which carry away angular momentum of a sign opposite to that contained in the wave system inside that circle. Specifically, a simple dispersion relationship is given as a definite integral, which allows the immediate determination of the pattern frequency and the amplification rate, once the basic galactic model is known.

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