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Title: Effective two-body scatterings around a massive object

Two-body scatterings under the potential of a massive object are very common in astrophysics. If the massive body is far enough away that the two small bodies are in their own gravitational sphere of influence, the gravity of the massive body can be temporarily ignored. However, this requires the scattering process to be fast enough that the small objects do not spend too much time at distances near the surface of the sphere of influence. In this paper, we derive the validation criteria for effective two-body scattering and establish a simple analytical solution for this process, which we verify through numerical scattering experiments. We use this solution to study star–black hole scatterings in the discs of active galactic nuclei and planet–planet scatterings in planetary systems, and calculate their one-dimensional cross-section analytically. Our solution will be valuable in reducing computational time when treating two-body scatterings under the potential of a much more massive third body, provided that the problem settings are in the valid parameter space region identified by our study.

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Award ID(s):
1831412 2219090
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 2014-2026
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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