Fractal geometry of angular momentum evolution in near-Keplerian systems


MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, vol.411, no.1, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


In this Letter, we propose a method to study the nature of resonant relaxation in near-Keplerian systems. Our technique is based on measuring the fractal dimension of the angular momentum trails and we use it to analyse the outcome of N-body simulations. With our method, we can reliably determine the time-scale for resonant relaxation, as well as the rate of change of angular momentum in this regime. We find that growth of angular momentum is more rapid than random walk, but slower than linear growth. We also determine the presence of long-term correlations arising from the bounds on angular momentum growth. We develop a toy model that reproduces all essential properties of angular momentum evolution.