# Interactive Galactic Dynamics Textbook -- Bovy 2022

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• strangerep
In summary, Jo Bovy, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, is creating an interactive textbook on galactic dynamics that aims to be more accessible than current reference books on the subject. It includes python code fragments and a youtube review praises its coverage of important mathematical concepts. It is a useful resource for those interested in the effects of mass distribution on galactic rotation curves and is recommended for those entering the field.
strangerep
TL;DR Summary
Check out galaxiesbook.org.
Since no one seems to have mentioned this yet...

For anyone interested in graduate-level study galactic dynamics, Jo Bovy (Assoc Prof in the Astrophysics Dept at U. Toronto) is in the process of constructing an interactive textbook on the subject, which you can check out at galaxiesbook.org. (Parts under still under construction.)

Motivation for this book comes partially from the overwhelmingly intimidating nature of the 2 current "bibles" on the subject:
“Galactic Dynamics” by Binney & Tremaine 2008; and
"
Galactic Astronomy" by Binney & Merrifield (1998).
These are more like reference books than textbooks. Bovy's new book is intended to be more genuinely a textbook for prospective graduate students. He's developed a "galpy" python package for doing lots of associated computations. The book contains many python code fragments within which you can run interactively in your browser if you wish. (I hope this paradigm becomes the future of textbooks.)

Here is a lengthier youtube review by someone studying in the field.

I found this book useful when I was wondering about how much the change from spherical-to-disk mass distributions affects galactic rotation curves. The book covers many cases in pleasing detail (i.e., it goes into lots of stuff with Bessel functions, elliptic integrals, etc) which are needed to properly solve these cases (rather than just "doodling around" like someone else said here recently). [Short answer: the "Mestel disk" with a 1/R mass distribution gives a flat rotation curve, but this seems not to be a realistic mass distribution even in disk galaxies.]

cosmologyscience, vanhees71, jedishrfu and 5 others
This looks pretty cool. Thanks for sharing!

vanhees71
For someone trying to navigate into this field, this seems like a very good starting point. Thanks for posting!

vanhees71

## 1. What is the "Interactive Galactic Dynamics Textbook -- Bovy 2022"?

The "Interactive Galactic Dynamics Textbook -- Bovy 2022" is a digital textbook that provides a comprehensive overview of galactic dynamics, the study of the motion and interactions of stars and other celestial bodies within galaxies. It is authored by Dr. Jo Bovy, an astrophysicist and professor at the University of Toronto.

## 2. How is this textbook different from traditional textbooks on galactic dynamics?

This textbook is unique in that it is interactive, allowing readers to engage with the content in a more hands-on way. It includes interactive simulations, visualizations, and coding exercises that allow readers to explore and understand the concepts in a more dynamic manner. Additionally, it is continuously updated with the latest research and developments in the field.

## 3. Is this textbook suitable for beginners in galactic dynamics?

Yes, this textbook is designed to be accessible to readers with a basic understanding of astrophysics and calculus. It starts with fundamental concepts and gradually builds upon them, making it suitable for beginners in the field. However, some familiarity with programming and coding may be helpful for fully utilizing the interactive components of the textbook.

## 4. Can this textbook be used as a teaching tool in a classroom setting?

Yes, this textbook can be used as a teaching tool in a classroom setting. It includes a variety of resources for instructors, such as lecture slides, problem sets, and solutions. The interactive nature of the textbook also allows for in-class activities and demonstrations to enhance student learning.

## 5. How can I access the "Interactive Galactic Dynamics Textbook -- Bovy 2022"?

The textbook is available online for free and can be accessed through any web browser. However, readers can also purchase a downloadable version for offline use. Additionally, the source code for the textbook is freely available on GitHub for those who want to contribute to its development.

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