Angular momentum transport in particle and fluid disks

Eliot Quataert, Eugene I. Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We examine the angular momentum transport properties of disks composed of macroscopic particles whose velocity dispersions are externally enhanced ("stirred"). Our simple Boltzmann equation model serves as an analogy for unmagnetized fluid disks in which turbulence may be driven by thermal convection. We show that interparticle collisions in particle disks play the same role as fluctuating pressure forces and viscous dissipation in turbulent disks: both transfer energy in random motions associated with one direction to those associated with another and convert kinetic energy into heat. The direction of angular momentum transport in stirred particle and fluid disks is determined by the direction of external stirring and by the properties of the collision term in the Boltzmann equation (or its analog in the fluid problem). In particular, our model problem yields inward transport for vertically or radially stirred disks, provided collisions are suitably inelastic; the transport is outward in the elastic limit. Numerical simulations of hydrodynamic turbulence driven by thermal convection find inward transport; this requires that fluctuating pressure forces do little to no work and is analogous to an externally stirred particle disk in which collisions are highly inelastic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-437
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Turbulence


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