Tests Of The Radial Tremaine-Weinberg Method

Date

2008-04

Authors

Meidt, S. E.
Rand, Richard J.
Merrifield, M. R.
Debattista, Victor P.
Shen, Juntai T.

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Abstract

At the intersection of galactic dynamics, evolution, and global structure, issues such as the relation between bars and spirals and the persistence of spiral patterns can be addressed through the characterization of the angular speeds of the patterns and their possible radial variation. The radial Tremaine-Weinberg (TWR) method, a generalized version of the Tremaine-Weinberg method for observationally determining a single, constant pattern speed, allows the pattern speed to vary arbitrarily with radius. Here we perform tests of the TWR method with regularization on several simulated galaxy data sets. The regularization is employed as a means of smoothing intrinsically noisy solutions, as well as for testing model solutions of different radial dependence (e. g., constant, linear, or quadratic). We test these facilities in studies of individual simulations and demonstrate successful measurement of both bar and spiral pattern speeds in a single disk, secondary bar pattern speeds, and spiral winding (in the first application of a TW calculation to a spiral simulation). We also explore the major sources of error in the calculation and find uncertainty in the major-axis position angle most dominant. In all cases, the method is able to extract pattern speed solutions where discernible patterns exist to within 20% of the known values, suggesting that the TWR method should be a valuable tool in the area of galactic dynamics. For utility, we also discuss the caveats in, and compile a prescription for, applications to real galaxies.

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Citation

Meidt, Sharon E., Richard J. Rand, Michael R. Merrifield, Victor P. Debattista, and Juntai Shen. "Tests of the Radial Tremaine-Weinberg Method." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 676, No. 2 (Apr., 2008): 899.