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The Secular Evolution of the Primordial Kuiper Belt

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2003

Astrophysics, abstract
astro-ph/0305602

From: Joseph M. Hahn <hahn@lpi.usra.edu>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 16:38:21 GMT   (563kb)
The Secular Evolution of the Primordial Kuiper Belt

Authors: Joseph M. Hahn
Comments: 45 pages, 6 figures
Report-no: LPI Contribution #1165

A model that computes the secular evolution of a gravitating disk-planet system is developed. The disk is treated as a set of gravitating rings, with the rings'/planets' time-evolution governed by the classical Laplace-Lagrange solution for secular evolution but modified to account for the disk's finite thickness h. This system's Lagrange planetary equations yield a particular class of spiral wave solutions, usually denoted as apsidal density waves and nodal bending waves. There are two varieties of apsidal waves:long waves and short waves. Planets typically launch long density waves at the disk's nearer edge or else at a secular resonance in the disk, and these waves ultimately reflect downstream at a more distant disk edge or else at a Q-barrier in the disk, whereupon they return as short density waves. Planets also launch nodal bending waves, and these have the property that they can stall in the disk, that is, their group velocity plummets to zero upon approaching a disk region too thick to support the continued propagation of bending waves. The rings model is used to compute the secular evolution of a Kuiper Belt having a variety of masses, and it is shown that the early massive Belt was very susceptible to the propagation of low-amplitude apsidal and nodal waves launched by the giant planets.
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