Velocity distributions from nonextensive thermodynamics

Eric I. Barnes, Liliya L.R. Williams, Arif Babul, Julianne J. Dalcanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


There is no accepted mechanism that explains the equilibrium structures that form in collisionless cosmological N-body simulations. Recent work has identified nonextensive thermodynamics as an innovative approach to the problem. The distribution function that results from adopting this framework has the same form as for polytropes, but the polytropic index is now related to the degree of nonextensiveness. In particular, the nonextensive approach can mimic the equilibrium structure of dark matter density profiles found in simulations. We extend the investigation of this approach to the velocity structures expected from nonextensive thermodynamics. We find that the nonextensive and simulated N-body vrms distributions do not match one another. The nonextensive vrms profile is either monotonically decreasing or displays little radial variation, each of which disagrees with the vrms distributions seen in simulations. We conclude that the currently discussed nonextensive models require further modifications in order to corroborate dark matter halo simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-850
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007


  • Dark matter
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • Galaxies: structure


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