Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 379, 767-780 (2001/12-1)
Energy, entropy and mass scaling relations for elliptical galaxies. Towards a physical understanding of their photometric properties.
MARQUEZ I., LIMA NETO G.B., CAPELATO H., DURRET F., LANZONI B. and GERBAL D.
Abstract (from CDS):
In the present paper, we show that elliptical galaxies (Es) obey a scaling relation between potential energy and mass. Since they are relaxed systems in a post violent-relaxation stage, they are quasi-equilibrium gravitational systems and therefore they also have a quasi-constant specific entropy. Assuming that light traces mass, these two laws imply that in the space defined by the three Sersic law parameters (intensity Σ0, scale a and shape ν), elliptical galaxies are distributed on two intersecting 2-manifolds: the Entropic Surface and the Energy-Mass Surface. Using a sample of 132 galaxies belonging to three nearby clusters, we have verified that ellipticals indeed follow these laws. This also implies that they are distributed along the intersection line (the Energy-Entropy line), thus they constitute a one-parameter family. These two physical laws (separately or combined), allow to find the theoretical origin of several observed photometrical relations, such as the correlation between absolute magnitude and effective surface brightness, and the fact that ellipticals are located on a surface in the [logReff, -2.5logΣ0, logν] space. The fact that elliptical galaxies are a one-parameter family has important implications for cosmology and galaxy formation and evolution models. Moreover, the Energy-Entropy line could be used as a distance indicator.
galaxies: clusters: individual (Coma, Abell 85, Abell 496) - galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD - galaxies: fundamental parameters - distance scale - gravitation