Field star interactions with globular clusters
Weisheit, Jon C.
Doctor of Philosophy
We investigate a new interaction of globular clusters with galactic field stars. By dynamical friction, high-velocity field stars passing through individual globular clusters are decelerated. This frictional interaction contributes to cluster heating, and, in conjunction with disk shocking and other mechanisms, it helps regulate the evolution of globular clusters. Moreover, penetrating field stars with low relative velocities can even be captured by globular clusters. Our calculated rate of captures suggest that there is a substantial population of stars having an origin external to the globulars in which they now reside. Intriguing candidates for this "immigrant" population include some blue straggler stars and short-period pulsars.