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Galaxies 2014, 2(4), 601-622; doi:10.3390/galaxies2040601

The Third Law of Galactic Rotation

Department of Astronomy, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44118, USA
Received: 6 October 2014 / Revised: 27 November 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 17 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beyond Standard Gravity and Cosmology)
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Abstract

I review the connection between dynamics and the baryonic mass distribution in rotationally-supported galaxies. The enclosed dynamical mass-to-light ratio increases with decreasing galaxy luminosity and surface brightness. The correlation with surface brightness appears to be the more fundamental, with the dependence on luminosity following simply from the weaker correlation between luminosity and surface brightness. In addition to this global relation, there is also a local relation between the amplitude of the mass discrepancy and the acceleration predicted by the observed distribution of baryons. I provide an empirical calibration of this mass discrepancy-acceleration relation. The data are consistent with the operation of a singe effective force law in disk galaxies, making this relation tantamount to a natural law. I further provide formulae by which the radial dark matter distribution can be estimated from surface photometry. The form of the dark matter halo depends uniquely on the distribution of baryons in each galaxy and, in general, is neither a cusp nor a core. It remains difficult to see how galaxy formation models can reproduce the observed behavior, which is uniquely predicted by MOND. View Full-Text
Keywords: dark matter; galaxies: formation; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: structure dark matter; galaxies: formation; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: structure
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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McGaugh, S.S. The Third Law of Galactic Rotation. Galaxies 2014, 2, 601-622.

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