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Relativity in Modern Physics$
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Nathalie Deruelle and Jean-Philippe Uzan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786399.001.0001

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Deformations of celestial bodies

Deformations of celestial bodies

(p.128) 14 Deformations of celestial bodies
Relativity in Modern Physics

Nathalie Deruelle

Jean-Philippe Uzan

Oxford University Press

This chapter studies various gravitational effects arising from the non-sphericity of celestial bodies. It first considers the quadrupole expansion of the potential, as well as the causes of the non-sphericity of the bodies. Finally, it turns to the figure of the Earth. To calculate the proper potential of the Earth, it attempts to determine its deformation due to a perturbing potential. Doing this accurately requires knowledge of the internal structure of the Earth and use of the techniques of the mechanics of continuous media. In this approach, the internal stress–strain relationships of a body are described by various phenomenological parameters and it becomes possible to study the response of the body (deformation, oscillations, etc.) to the field of an external force.

Keywords:   deformations of celestial bodies, non-sphericity, quadrupole expansion, potential, Earth, perturbing potential, Earth’s internal structure, internal stress–strain relationships, external forces

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