In the Context of Binary Star Formation
(Lebovitz 1987)

First, contract slowly down the sequence of Maclaurin spheroids to the point of dynamical instability (D), then evolve along the Riemann (x = +1) sequence of ellipsoids until a bifurcation to the dumbbell sequence is encountered.

Then, contract slowly along the dumbbell sequence (if one exists!) until the configuration "pinches off" into a binary system.

J. H. Jeans
(1903, Phil. Trans. Royal Society, vol. 200)

"I have not attempted to give any discussion of results from the point of view of dynamical astronomy. The complications introduced by the heterogeneity and compressibility of natural substances, as well as by the difference between the two-dimensional and three- dimensional problems, are so great that any discussion with reference to the actual conditions of astronomy would be impossible in the present paper."

Return to Fission