Collision mechanics and the structure of planetary ring edges

Dominique Spaute, Richard J. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A numerical simulation of collisional evolution, originally developed to model planetary accretion processes, is applied to a hypothetical ring with parameters modeled after Saturn's rings in order to study changes in radial structure near ring edges. The tendency of rings to spread so as to conserve angular momentum while energy is dissipated in collisions is confirmed if random motion is in equilibrium. Even with no energy loss (coefficient of restitution in velocity ε = 1), spreading occurs becase random motion is increasing. With a moderately side-scattering collisional model, characteristic of collisions of nonrotating spheres (the slippery "billiard-ball" model), random motion increases for ε > 0.63, in agreement with analytical models. For isotropic scattering, which may be more realistic given particle rotation, damping dominates for ε up to 0.83. As long as random motion is damped, ring edges may contract rather than spread, producing concentrations of material just inside the ring edges reminiscent of results of earlier stimulation which did not precisely conserve angular momentum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-302
Number of pages14
JournalIcarus
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987

Fingerprint

planetary rings
mechanics
collision
collisions
rings
angular momentum
scattering
Saturn rings
Saturn
damping
energy
stimulation
accretion
balls
tendencies
energy dissipation
kinetic energy
simulation
coefficients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Collision mechanics and the structure of planetary ring edges. / Spaute, Dominique; Greenberg, Richard J.

In: Icarus, Vol. 70, No. 2, 1987, p. 289-302.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Spaute, Dominique ; Greenberg, Richard J. / Collision mechanics and the structure of planetary ring edges. In: Icarus. 1987 ; Vol. 70, No. 2. pp. 289-302.
@article{66270507b48c407c8f2a9682eec4f9d3,
title = "Collision mechanics and the structure of planetary ring edges",
abstract = "A numerical simulation of collisional evolution, originally developed to model planetary accretion processes, is applied to a hypothetical ring with parameters modeled after Saturn's rings in order to study changes in radial structure near ring edges. The tendency of rings to spread so as to conserve angular momentum while energy is dissipated in collisions is confirmed if random motion is in equilibrium. Even with no energy loss (coefficient of restitution in velocity ε = 1), spreading occurs becase random motion is increasing. With a moderately side-scattering collisional model, characteristic of collisions of nonrotating spheres (the slippery {"}billiard-ball{"} model), random motion increases for ε > 0.63, in agreement with analytical models. For isotropic scattering, which may be more realistic given particle rotation, damping dominates for ε up to 0.83. As long as random motion is damped, ring edges may contract rather than spread, producing concentrations of material just inside the ring edges reminiscent of results of earlier stimulation which did not precisely conserve angular momentum.",
author = "Dominique Spaute and Greenberg, {Richard J.}",
year = "1987",
doi = "10.1016/0019-1035(87)90136-9",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "70",
pages = "289--302",
journal = "Icarus",
issn = "0019-1035",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Collision mechanics and the structure of planetary ring edges

AU - Spaute, Dominique

AU - Greenberg, Richard J.

PY - 1987

Y1 - 1987

N2 - A numerical simulation of collisional evolution, originally developed to model planetary accretion processes, is applied to a hypothetical ring with parameters modeled after Saturn's rings in order to study changes in radial structure near ring edges. The tendency of rings to spread so as to conserve angular momentum while energy is dissipated in collisions is confirmed if random motion is in equilibrium. Even with no energy loss (coefficient of restitution in velocity ε = 1), spreading occurs becase random motion is increasing. With a moderately side-scattering collisional model, characteristic of collisions of nonrotating spheres (the slippery "billiard-ball" model), random motion increases for ε > 0.63, in agreement with analytical models. For isotropic scattering, which may be more realistic given particle rotation, damping dominates for ε up to 0.83. As long as random motion is damped, ring edges may contract rather than spread, producing concentrations of material just inside the ring edges reminiscent of results of earlier stimulation which did not precisely conserve angular momentum.

AB - A numerical simulation of collisional evolution, originally developed to model planetary accretion processes, is applied to a hypothetical ring with parameters modeled after Saturn's rings in order to study changes in radial structure near ring edges. The tendency of rings to spread so as to conserve angular momentum while energy is dissipated in collisions is confirmed if random motion is in equilibrium. Even with no energy loss (coefficient of restitution in velocity ε = 1), spreading occurs becase random motion is increasing. With a moderately side-scattering collisional model, characteristic of collisions of nonrotating spheres (the slippery "billiard-ball" model), random motion increases for ε > 0.63, in agreement with analytical models. For isotropic scattering, which may be more realistic given particle rotation, damping dominates for ε up to 0.83. As long as random motion is damped, ring edges may contract rather than spread, producing concentrations of material just inside the ring edges reminiscent of results of earlier stimulation which did not precisely conserve angular momentum.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=45949116314&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=45949116314&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/0019-1035(87)90136-9

DO - 10.1016/0019-1035(87)90136-9

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:45949116314

VL - 70

SP - 289

EP - 302

JO - Icarus

JF - Icarus

SN - 0019-1035

IS - 2

ER -