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Density wave theory

Density wave theory or the Lin–Shu density wave theory is a theory proposed by C.C. Lin and Frank Shu in the mid-1960s to explain the spiral arm structure of spiral galaxies. The Lin–Shu theory introduces the idea of long-lived quasistatic spiral structure (QSSS hypothesis). Theoretically, the formation of global spiral pattern is treated as an instability of the stellar disk caused by the self-gravity, as opposed to tidal interactions. The mathematical formulation of the theory has also been extended to other astrophysical disk systems, such as Saturn's rings.

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