Dynamical Friction in a Gaseous Medium

  title={Dynamical Friction in a Gaseous Medium},
  author={Eve C. Ostriker},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal},
  pages={252 - 258}
  • E. Ostriker
  • Published 20 October 1998
  • Physics
  • The Astrophysical Journal
Using time-dependent linear perturbation theory, we evaluate the dynamical friction force on a massive perturber Mp traveling at velocity V through a uniform gaseous medium of density ρ0 and sound speed cs. This drag force acts in the direction -V̂ and arises from the gravitational attraction between the perturber and its wake in the ambient medium. For supersonic motion (ℳ≡V/cs>1), the enhanced-density wake is confined to the Mach cone trailing the perturber; for subsonic motion (ℳ<1), the… 


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