Document Type



Author's Final Manuscript

Publication Title

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Publication Date



The orbital angular momentum of individual stars in galactic discs can be permanently changed through torques from transient spiral patterns. Interactions at the corotation resonance dominate these changes and have the further property of conserving orbital circularity. We derived in an earlier paper an analytic criterion that an unperturbed stellar orbit must satisfy in order for such an interaction to occur i.e. for it to be in a trapped orbit around corotation. We here use this criterion in an investigation of how the efficiency of induced radial migration for a population of disc stars varies with the angular momentum distribution of that population. We frame our results in terms of the velocity dispersion of the population, this being an easier observable than is the angular momentum distribution. Specifically, we investigate how the fraction of stars in trapped orbits at corotation varies with the velocity dispersion of the population, for a system with an assumed flat rotation curve. Our analytic results agree with the finding from simulations that radial migration is less effective in populations with ‘hotter’ kinematics. We further quantify the dependence of this trapped fraction on the strength of the spiral pattern, finding a higher trapped fraction for higher amplitude perturbations.


Included in

Physics Commons