The principle of maximum entropy explains the cores observed in the mass distribution of dwarf galaxies

Sánchez Almeida, Jorge; Trujillo, Ignacio; Plastino, Angel Ricardo
Bibliographical reference

Astronomy and Astrophysics

Advertised on:
Number of authors
IAC number of authors
Refereed citations
Cold dark matter (CDM) simulations predict a central cusp in the mass distribution of galaxies. This prediction is in stark contrast with observations of dwarf galaxies that show a central plateau or "core" in their density distribution. The proposed solutions to this core-cusp problem can be classified into two types. One invokes feedback mechanisms produced by the baryonic component of the galaxies and the other assumes that the properties of the dark matter particle depart from the CDM hypothesis. Here we propose an alternative yet complementary explanation. We argue that cores are unavoidable in the self-gravitating systems of maximum entropy that result from non-extensive statistical mechanics. Their structure follows from the Tsallis entropy, which is attributed to systems with long-range interactions. Strikingly, the mass density profiles predicted by such thermodynamic equilibrium match the observed cores without any adjustment or tuning. Thus, the principle of maximum Tsallis entropy explains the presence of cores in dwarf galaxies.
Related projects
Project Image
Starbursts in Galaxies GEFE

Starsbursts play a key role in the cosmic evolution of galaxies, and thus in the star formation (SF) history of the universe, the production of metals, and the feedback coupling galaxies with the cosmic web. Extreme SF conditions prevail early on during the formation of the first stars and galaxies, therefore, the starburst phenomenon constitutes a

Muñoz Tuñón
Group members
Traces of Galaxy Formation: Stellar populations, Dynamics and Morphology

We are a large, diverse, and very active research group aiming to provide a comprehensive picture for the formation of galaxies in the Universe. Rooted in detailed stellar population analysis, we are constantly exploring and developing new tools and ideas to understand how galaxies came to be what we now observe.

Martín Navarro