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The new phase space complexity of old globular clusters

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Our traditional interpretative picture of the internal dynamics of globular clusters has been recently revolutionized by a series of discoveries about their chemical, structural, and kinematic properties. The empirical evidence that their velocity space is much more complex than previously expected encourages us to use them as refreshingly novel playgrounds for some long-forgotten aspects of collisional gravitational dynamics. Such a realization, coupled with the discovery that the stars in clusters were not all born at once in a single population, makes them new, challenging chemodynamical puzzles.

Thanks to the proper motions of thousands of stars that will be available from the Gaia mission, we are about to enter a new ’’golden age’’ for the study of the dynamics low-mass systems, as the full phase space of several Galactic globular clusters will be soon unlocked for the first time. In this context, I will present the highlights of a more realistic dynamical paradigm for these intriguing stellar systems, with emphasis on the role of internal rotation, external tides, and their rich interplay and attention to some tantalizing analogies with fluid dynamical systems.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Astrophysics Seminar series.

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