CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2011
 17 March 2011

17 March 2011

Speaker: Nevin Weinberg (MIT)

Title:Nonlinear tides in close binary systems

Abstract: Tides strongly influence the evolution and fate of a wide variety of binary systems, from extrasolar planets to compact object binaries. Despite the subjects long history, there remain major gaps in our understanding of tidal evolution, with many of the observed orbital properties of close binaries still not well understood. In this talk I will describe ongoing work that attempts to go beyond the standard linear theory treatment of tides. Focusing on solar-type stars with short-period stellar or planetary (hot Jupiter) companions, I will describe how nonlinear interactions dramatically modify the excitation and damping of resonantly excited internal waves in stars. I will show that the linear approximation used in previous investigations fails over much of the parameter space in which it is employed and discuss how nonlinear effects influence the orbital properties of solar-type binaries and the orbital decay of hot Jupiters. I will conclude with a brief discussion of future applications of this nonlinear treatment of tides, including the role of nonlinear tidal interactions during the inspiral of compact object binaries.

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