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Concept# Lane–Emden equation

Summary

In astrophysics, the Lane–Emden equation is a dimensionless form of Poisson's equation for the gravitational potential of a Newtonian self-gravitating, spherically symmetric, polytropic fluid. It is named after astrophysicists Jonathan Homer Lane and Robert Emden. The equation readswhere \xi is a dimensionless radius and \theta is related to the density, and thus the pressure, by \rho=\rho_c\theta^n for central density \rho_c. The index n is the polytropic index that appears in the polytropic equation of state,
: P = K \rho^{1 + \frac{1}{n}},
where P and \rho are the pressure and density, respectively, and K is a constant of proportionality. The standard boundary conditions are \theta(0)=1 and \theta'(0)=0. Solutions thus describe the run of pressure and density with radius and are known as polytropes of index n. If an isothe

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