Scientific Activity


The scientific research of R. Capuzzo-Dolcetta is mainly concerned with the topic of stellar clusters, but it actually covers a large range in theoretical and observational astrophysics.


At present R. Capuzzo-Dolcetta scientific activity is mainly devoted to

  1. smooth particle hydrodynamics and N-body evolution, applied to the study of multi-phase, self-gravitating astrophysical systems
  2. dynamical evolution of globular cluster systems in elliptical galaxies, and resulting AGNs;
  3. identification of OB associations in unresolved galaxies.

Let's outline some major points in the previous topics.

  1. A recent development of my interests in numerical dynamics and hydrodynamics  is concerned with the construction of  various smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) + N-body codes: a P3M code and an SPH-tree-code (in collaboration with P. Miocchi and R. Di Lisio). Some theoretical and numerical original tests have been done. In particular, a  comparison between the Fast Multipole Method (FMM, widely used in molecular dynamics) and the classic Barnes and Hut tree-code has been perfomed. It shows that, in spite of the often claimed linear dependence of FMM cpu time on the particle number N, tree codes seems to be faster. First applications have been done to newly formed open star clusters moving in a gaseous medium. Results show that a correct analysis of the two phase (N-body + gas) dynamics and exchange is crucial to understand stellar cluster formation and early evolution.

  2. I am currently studying the effects of dynamical friction and tidal disruption on globular clusters moving in a triaxial potential. The most interesting results of this work, still continuing, is that in triaxial galaxies the cluster distribution and the feeding of a central nucleus and even its formation can be determined by the two mentioned environmental processes. Various papers have been published and various cooperations are active, including ESO-NTT observations of two ascertained triaxials.

  3. Together with P. Battinelli, S. Adanti and A. Vicari, I have recently developed and applied a computer code based on cluster analysis which is aimed to give an almost objective way to discern OB association in unresolved galaxies. Their first application (with P. Hodge) was to NGC2903, after checks of suitability done on selected M31 fields. This technique was applied to 6 spirals, so far: NGC 1058, NGC 3377a, NGC 3507, NGC 4394, NGC 7217 and UGC 12732.



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