Internal gravity waves in massive stars: Angular momentum transport

T. M. Rogers, D. N.C. Lin, J. N. McElwaine, H. H.B. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


We present numerical simulations of internal gravity waves (IGW) in a star with a convective core and extended radiative envelope. We report on amplitudes, spectra, dissipation, and consequent angular momentum transport by such waves. We find that these waves are generated efficiently and transport angular momentum on short timescales over large distances. We show that, as in Earth's atmosphere, IGW drive equatorial flows which change magnitude and direction on short timescales. These results have profound consequences for the observational inferences of massive stars, as well as their long term angular momentum evolution. We suggest IGW angular momentum transport may explain many observational mysteries, such as: the misalignment of hot Jupiters around hot stars, the Be class of stars, Ni enrichment anomalies in massive stars, and the non-synchronous orbits of interacting binaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2013


  • hydrodynamics
  • stars: interiors
  • stars: rotation
  • waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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