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P O W E R - S E R I E S S O L U T I O N S OF THE

LANE-EMDEN EQUATION

C. MOHAN
Dept of Mathematics, Roorkee University, Roorkee, India

and

A. R. AL-BAYATY,
College of Science, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

(Received 13 May, 1980)

Abstract. In this paper the problem of representing the numerical solutions of the Lane-Emden
equation analytically by means of a convergent power series has been considered. Our results show
that it is possible to represent the numerical solutions of the Lane-Emden equation by means of a
power series which can be convergent in the whole interior of a polytropic model.

1. Introduction

The L a n e - E m d e n equation is a non-linear second-order differential equation


which governs the structure of a polytropic gas sphere in equilibrium under its
own gravitation. The equation is of importance in astrophysics because, for the
values of the polytropic index n between 0 and 5, the equation approximates to a
reasonable accuracy the structures of a variety of the realistic stellar models.
Unfortunately, analytical solutions to the L a n e - E m d e n equation in closed form
are possible only for values of the polytropic index of n = 0,1 and 5. For other
values of n between 0 and 5 only numerical solutions to the L a n e - E m d e n
equation are available in the literature (Chandrasekhar, 1957). This is a real
handicap in the practical utilisation of this equation in analytical studies of the
problems of stellar structure, stellar stability and stellar oscillations.
Recently Seidov and K u z a k h m e d o v (1977) developed power-series solutions
to the L a n e - E m d e n equation originating at the centre. They claim that these
power-series solutions should be convergent not only in the vicinity of the
centre, but also in a substantial part of the sphere. For n = 3 they estimated the
radius of convergence of the powerseries solution to be about 37% of the radius
of the sphere. This fact prompted us to investigate this problem in greater detail
in search of convergent power-series solutions to the L a n e - E m d e n equation
which can analytically represent the numerical solutions to the L a n e - E m d e n in
the whole interior of a polytropic model. The importance of such convergent
power-series solutions obivously lies in the fact that, in the absence of analytical
solutions of the L a n e - E m d e n equation in closed form, these convergent power-
series solutions can serve as the analytical representations of the solutions to the
L a n e - E m d e n equation. In this connection it is worth noting that the power series

Astrophysics and Space Science 73 (1980) 227-239. 0004-640X/80/0731-0227501.95


Copyright 0 1980 by D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht, Holland, and Boston, U.S.A.
228 C. M O H A N A N D A. R. A L - B A Y A T Y

is one of the powerful methods of mathematical analysis and is no less (and


sometimes even more) convenient than the elementary functions-especially
when the problems are to be studied on computers. In fact, modern computers
often use series in the calculations of the majority of the elementary functions.
With this objective in view, we have in the present paper investigated in detail the
problem of obtaining the power-series solutions to the L a n e - E m d e n equation
which not only originate at the singular points, but also at certain other points in
the interior of the model in quest of convergent solutions which can analytically
represent the numerical solutions of the L a n e - E m d e n equation in the interior of
a polytropic model. In Section 2 we consider the mathematical problem of
obtaining the power-series solutions to the L a n e - E m d e n equation which ori-
ginate at the centre, at the surface and at any other arbitrary point in the interior
of a polytropic model. The problem of estimating the radii of convergence of
these series solutions is discussed in Section 3. The numerical evaluation of the
results based on these series solutions follows in Section 4. Conclusions drawn
on the basis of the present study are presented in Section 5.

2. Power-Series Solutions to the L a n e - E m d e n Equation

Following Chandrasekhar (1957) the L a n e - E m d e n equation which governs the


equilibrium structure of a polytropic gas sphere may be expressed in its non-
dimensional form as

d20 2 d 0 _ r (1)
dx 2 q x dx

where x = scl/~c, ~cl being the value of the independent variable ~ where the first
zero of the dependent variable 0 occurs (i.e., r is the radius of the equilibrium
sphere). The index n appearing on the right-hand side of Equation (1) is known
as the polytropic index of the gas sphere, and for cases of practical interest in
problems on stellar structure, 0 <~ n ~< 5. The centre (x = 0) and surface (x = 1)
are two singularities of this non-linear differential equation. Physical conditions
at the centre and at the surface require the non-linear differential Equation (1) to
satisfy the boundary conditions

dO
0=1, dx 0 at the centre x 0, (2)

and

dO
0 = 0, ~ finite at the surface x = 1. (3)

Physical conditions in the interior of a polytropic model require 0 and dO/dx to


remain finite for e v e r y value of x between 0 and 1.
In order to develop a power-series solution to the L a n e - E m d e n equation at an
POWER-SERIES SOLUTIONS OF THE LANE-EMDEN EQUATION 229

arbitrary point Xo in the interior of a polytropic gas sphere ( O < x 0 < 1), we
require the values of 0 and O' (0' = dO/dx) at this point. Suppose 0 and O' are known
at xo, say

0--0o, 0'=0; atx=xo O<x0<l. (4)

Then we are seeking a solution to (1) in the form

0 : Oo+ ~ ak(x - Xo)k , (5)


k=l

which satisfies (4), Now, since 0 and 0' are continuous in an open neighbour-
hood of x0, we can differentiate (5) and its derivatives term by term to obtain
series expressions for dO/dx and dZO/dx 2. Also, by using the formula for raising a
power-series expansion of 0 to an arbitrary index n (see, for example, Grad-
shteyn and Ryzhik 1965), we can write

0 " = 0 ~ [ 1 + ~ C,~(X-Xo)m], (6)


m=[

where
m

Cm - rr[Ooi~=,,(in - m + i)aiC,,_i (7)

with Co = 1.
Substituting the series expansions for dO/dx and dZ0/dx 2 and the expansion of
0" as given by (6) in (1), and equating the coefficients of the same powers of
(x -xo) on the two sides, we get relations which determine the coefficients ak of
the series expansion (5) of the form

al = 0~,
1 2 n
a2 = - ~(x0~:100 + 20~),

a3 = - 6~[(I + x0Cl) ~0~ + 6a2], (8)


and, in general, for k ~> 1

ak+z = -[(Ck-~ + xoG) sc~Og+ (k + 1)(k + 2)ak+t]/[(k + 1)(k + 2)],


with C~ as defined in (7).
Series (5) thus gives the series solution to the L a n e - E m d e n equation originat-
ing at an arbitrary point x0(0 < Xo < 1) if 0o and 0~ are known at this point. The
coefficients of the series solution (5) are determined by (8) in conjunction with
(7).
The series solutions to the L a n e - E m d e n equation can also be similarly
developed at the singular points x0 = 0 (the centre) and x = 1 (the surface). The
values of 00 and 00' in these cases are given by (2) and (3). The series solution to
230 c . M O H A N A N D A, R, A L - B A Y A T Y

the L a n e - E m d e n equation originating at the centre can be shown to assume the


explicit f o r m

0=1+ ~, ak X 2~, (9)


k=O

where

a, = l sc~,

n
a2 = 1-~ ~:~'

a3- n(8n - 5)

and, in general,
k
1 ~ (in + i - k ) ( k - i + 1)(3 + 2k - 2i)aiak-i+l,
ak+l = k ( k + 1)(2k + 3) i=l
k~>l.

Similarly, the series solution to the L a n e - E m d e n equation originating at the


other singular point (x = 1, the surface), can be shown to be

0 = ~ ak-l(1--X) k, (10)
k=l

where

ao=_O~=_[d~xx)/a\ at the surface x = l ,

ak=ao, k<~n,

a.+l = a o - ~ b ~ / [ ( n + 1)(n + 2)],

and
2 n
ak+2 = ak -- ~jao(Ck-n -- Ck-n-O/[(k + 1)(k + 2)], k > n,

with

Ck = ~ i=1 (in -- k + i)aiCk-i and Co = 1 .

It should be noted that the series solution (10) developed at the surface is
applicable only to those cases in which n is an integer (n = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 in the
cases of interest). This is due to the fact that when the series expansions for 0,
dO/dx, d20/dx 2 and 0" are substituted in (1), (1 - x)" appears as a factor in the terms
on the right-hand side of (1) and therefore the coefficients of the same powers of
(1 - x ) can only be equated on the two sides if n is an integer.
POWER-SERIES SOLUTIONS OF THE LANE-EMDEN EQUATION 231

It can be verified that the series solutions to the Lane-Emden equation


developed in this section reduce to their well-known analytical solutions (cf.
Chandrasekhar, 1957) for n = 0,1 or 5.

3. Radii of Convergence of the Series Solutions


An important fact about the power series of the form

ak(X -- Xo) k (1 1)
k=l

is that for such series there exists a positive real number p dependent on the
coefficients ak such that the power series (11) is convergent whenever I x - x0] <
p. This number p is called the radius of convergence of the power series. A
power series not only converges but converges uniformly inside its circle of
convergence, and so a power series can be differentiated or integrated term by
term for values of I x - x01 less than the radius of convergence. Thus, for values
of x for which Ix-x01 < p, the power-series solution behaves almost like an
analytical function.
An easy way to compute the radius of convergence of a power series is to use
the formula

p=limlk-~ aa-~+tl" (12)

Unfortunately, the coefficients of the series solutions to the Lane-Emden


equation obtained by us in the previous section do not provide us with explicit
expressions for the radii of convergence of these series solutions that can be
computed analytically. However, it is possible to estimate the radii of con-
vergence of these series solutions by computing numerically the ratio lak/ak§ for
different values of k and observing its trend for large values of k.
In the case of the series solutions to the Lane-Emden equation developed at a
point x0 which is not a singularity of the Lane-Emden equation, the radius of
convergence of the series solution is expected to be the distance of x0 from the
nearest singularity of the equation.

4. Numerical Evaluation of the Results

Series solutions obtained in Section 2 have been used to compute numerically


the values of 0 at different points in the interior of a polytropic model. For this
purpose the series solutions developed at the centre, at x = 0.2, x = 0.5, x = 0.7,
and at the surface have been used to compute the values of 0 at different points
in the interior of a polytropic model for different values of the polytropic index n
between 0 and 5. The results, presented in Tables III, IVa, IVb, IVc and V,
correspond to the solutions when the first 50 (k = 50) terms are included in the
232 C. MOHAN AND A. R. AL-BAYATY

,,n:

e-,
,,q.

e..,

t"q
<
b..,

H
,-,i

"-t.

H
P O W E R - S E R I E S S O L U T I O N S OF T H E L A N E - E M D E N E Q U A T I O N 233

TABLE II
Numerical values of the input parameters 0o and 06 used in the series
solutions

n = 0.5, set = 2.7528 n = 1.0, sel = 3.14159


xo 0o 06 xo 0o 06

0.2 0.9498632 -0.4975089 0.2 0.9354885 -0.632360


0.5 0.6994500 -1.140322 0.5 0.6986449 -1.204912
0.7 0.4406113 -1.421260 0.7 0.3678811 -1,365235
1.0 1.0 - 1.00

n = 1.5, sel = 3.65375 n = 2.0, set = 4.35287

Xo Oo 06 xo Oo 06

0.2 0.9144607 -0.8217741 0.2 0.8826591 -1.089249


0.5 0.6286134 -1.346670 0.5 0.5433201 -1.428216
0.7 0.2963826 -1.226457 0.7 0.2306240 -1.026561
1.0 1.0 -0.5538989

n = 2.5, sel = 5.35528 n = 3.0, ~r = 6.89685

Xo 0o 06 Xo 0o 06

0.2 0.8329170 -1.458852 0.2 0.7532146 -1.921322


0.5 0.3784914 -1.269791 0.5 0.2840250 -1.049560
0.7 0.1733420 -0.8037008 0.7 0.1250870 -0.5907226
1.0 1.0 -0.2926321

n = 3.5, sel = 9.53581 n = 4, sel = 14.97155

Xo Oo 06 Xo Oo 06

0.2 0.6265230 -2.324831 0.2 0.4409082 -2.235185


0.5 0.1965300 -0,7654043 0.5 0.1198634 -0.4766314
0,7 0.084%27 -0.4036343 0.7 0.05146220 -0,2449046
1.0 1.0 -0.1200430

n = 4.5, sel = 31.83646 n = 4.9, sel = 169.47

Xo Oo 06 xo Oo O6

0.2 0.2159184 -1.298751 0.2 0.04087132 -0.2540918


0.5 0.05498982 -0.2182217 0.5 0.01035999 -0.04069394
0.7 0.02380169 -0.1114102 0.7 0.004546478 -0.02076241
1.0 1.0

series expansions. For comparison we also present in T a b l e I t h e r e s u l t s o f t h e


numerical integration of the Lane-Emden equation by the Runge-Kutta method
o f o r d e r 4. T h e n u m e r i c a l v a l u e s o f s~ r e q u i r e d f o r t h e s e r i e s s o l u t i o n s , a s w e l l a s
for the numerical solutions by the Runge-Kutta method, were taken from
Chandrasekhar (1957). T h e a p p r o p r i a t e v a l u e s o f 00 a n d 06 u s e d f o r d e v e l o p i n g
234 r MOHAN AND A. R. AL-BAYATY

,.,,A
e'-

,m

r
~D
E

,.A
-,<

p,.

e-,
e.',

Z
H

e-,

H
~6

O
z
POWER-SERIES SOLUTIONS OF THE LANE-EMDEN EQUATION 235

[..
._.=

>

~0
II eo

-~c5 r c5 c5 c 5 ' ~ ..=

r-,

0
e-
0

o"
e- ~,Im o
cqlm
~ d d ~ d dld ~
E b.-,
I E~
e-, 9

.,. "~

0
~.=
_=.o
>
~o

.~=

2;

~N~NN~N~-N
r
2;
236 C. M O H A N A N D A. R, A L - B A Y A T Y

II

~D
II

II ~R~--~ tt'5
0

0
II

[..-,
~q E
I
II
I-

0
0

< II

t.

II

lq.
c-

i-,

II

o
Z
POWER-SERIES S O L U T I O N S OF T H E L A N E - E M D E N E Q U A T I O N 237

~ ' ~ ~ ~ ~

<~ Iw ~ ' ~ ~ ~

r'~
~o
II
I

~i~ ~ ~ ~

Z
238 c. MOHAN AND A. R. AL-BAYATY

TABLE V
Numerical results based on the series solution to the Lane-Emden equation developed at the surface

Values of 0

x n = 1.0 n = 2.0 n = 3.0 n = 4.0


0.95 0.052415 0.029149 0.015402 0.006318
0.90 0.109292 0.061487 0.032514 0.013338
0.80 0.233872 0.137377 0.073126 0.030011
0.70 0.367883 0.230625 0.125087 0.051444
0.60 0.504551 0.342900 0.193160 0.079998
0.50 0.636620 0.473086 0.284026 0.119844
0.40 0.756828 0.615410 0.405897 0.178939
0.30 0.858396 0.757918 0.564950 0.273827
0.20 0.935493 0.882662 0.753217 0.440898
0.10 0.983640 0.969011 0..9__25__8.7_.1 0..7__3.9_.1_3_0
0.05 0.995908 0.992143 0.981317 0.902530
0.0 1.000003 0.999992 0.964388 0.879046
P~ 1,0 1.0 0.90 0.90

Note: Dotted lines indicate the range up to which the results given in this table agree with the results
of numerical integration given in Table I.

t h e s e r i e s s o l u t i o n s at x = 0.2, 0.5 a n d 0.7 w e r e t h e s a m e as t h o s e o b t a i n e d b y us


in t h e n u m e r i c a l s o l u t i o n o f t h e L a n e - E m d e n e q u a t i o n b y t h e R u n g e - K u t t a
m e t h o d a n d a r e p r e s e n t e d e x p l i c i t l y in T a b l e II. T h e n u m e r i c a l v a l u e s o f 0~
r e q u i r e d f o r the s e r i e s s o l u t i o n d e v e l o p e d at t h e s u r f a c e (x = 1) w e r e t a k e n f r o m
C h a n d r a s e k h a r (1957). E s t i m a t e s o f t h e r a d i i o f c o n v e r g e n c e o f t h e s e r i e s
s o l u t i o n s b a s e d o n t h e b e h a v i o u r o f t h e r a t i o s [ak/ak+ll f o r l a r g e v a l u e s o f k, a r e
a l s o p r e s e n t e d in T a b l e s III, IV a n d V.

5. Discussion of the Results and Conclusions

A c o m p a r i s o n o f t h e r e s u l t s g i v e n in T a b l e I I I w i t h t h e r e s u l t s of n u m e r i c a l
i n t e g r a t i o n g i v e n in T a b l e I s h o w s t h a t t h e s e r i e s s o l u t i o n s to t h e L a n e - E m d e n
e q u a t i o n d e v e l o p e d at t h e c e n t r e a r e c o n v e r g e n t in t h e w h o l e i n t e r i o r o f a
p o l y t r o p i c g a s s p h e r e f o r v a l u e s of t h e p o l y t r o p i c i n d e x n ~< 1.5. F o r v a l u e s o f
n > 1.5, t h e r a d i i o f c o n v e r g e n c e of t h e s e s e r i e s s o l u t i o n s go o n d e c r e a s i n g
g r a d u a l l y until, f o r n = 4.5, it is v i r t u a l l y z e r o . T h e r e f o r e , f o r n ~< 1.5 w e c a n
s a f e l y u s e the s e r i e s s o l u t i o n to t h e L a n e - E m d e n e q u a t i o n d e v e l o p e d at t h e
c e n t r e as t h e a n a l y t i c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e s o l u t i o n to t h e L a n e - E m d e n
equation.
O n c o m p a r i n g the r e s u l t s p r e s e n t e d in T a b l e s I V a , I V b a n d I V c w i t h t h e
r e s u l t s o f n u m e r i c a l i n t e g r a t i o n g i v e n in T a b l e I w e find t h a t , w h e r e a s t h e s e r i e s
s o l u t i o n s to t h e L a n e - E m d e n e q u a t i o n d e v e l o p e d at x = 0.2 a n d x = 0.7 a r e n o t
c o n v e r g e n t in t h e w h o l e i n t e r i o r o f a p o l y t r o p i c gas s p h e r e , t h e s e r i e s s o l u t i o n to
t h e L a n e - E m d e n e q u a t i o n d e v e l o p e d at x = 0.5 a r e c o n v e r g e n t in t h e w h o l e
POWER-SERIES SOLUTIONS OF THE LANE-EMDEN EQUATION 239

interior of a polytropic model for every value of the polytropic index n between
0 and 5. (The slight difference in the numerical results of Table IVb and Table I
near the two singularities for values of n t> 4 is partly due to the numerical errors
in the series solutions near the singularities and partly due to the errors in the
results of numerical integration near the singularities.
Our results in Table V show that, whereas the series solutions to the
L a n e - E m d e n equation developed at the surface can be used to represent
analytical solutions to the L a n e - E m d e n throughout the polytropic model for
n = 1 and 2, for n = 3 and 4 the series solutions to the L a n e - E m d e n equation can
be safely used to represent analytical solutions of the L a n e - E m d e n equation for
0.1 ~<x ~< 1. (As pointed out earlier, the series solution to the L a n e - E m d e n
equation at the surface can be developed for integer values of n only.)
Thus, an important conclusion which can be drawn on the basis of the present
study is that it is possible to represent the numerical solutions to the L a n e -
Emden equation analytically by means of a power series which is convergent in
the whole interior of a polytropic model for almost every value of n between 0
and 5. The practical advantages of this representation in theoretical studies are
apparent. For instance, operations of integration and differentiation on 0 can be
performed analytically with the aid of these convergent power-series solutions,
as a power series can be integrated or differentiated term by term at points
within its radius of convergence. The results presented in Tables III, IV and V
can serve as guidelines for using an appropriate power-series solution in a
particular problem. The starting values of 00 and O~ required for these series
solutions are given in Table II. We have computed our results numerically in
Tables III-IV by including the first 50 terms in the series expansions. However,
the inclusion of an even smaller number of terms will also give reasonable
accuracy. Also, the numerical results giving the values of 0 by the series
solutions at the singularities x = 0 and x = 1 given in Tables III-V are intended
to indicate the order of accuracy obtainable from these series solutions at points
very close to the singularities in the case of those series solutions which are
convergent right up to the singularities.

References

Chandrasekhar, S,: 1957, An Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structure, Dover Publications Inc.,
Chicago.
Gradshteyn, I.S. and Ryzhik, I.M.: 1965 Tables of Integrals, Series and Products, Academic Press
Inc, New York.
Seidov, Z. F, and Kuzakhmedov, R. K. 1977, Soy, Astron. (English transl.), 21,399.

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