Fr.: paramètre de Toomre
A quantity that measures the stability of a differentially rotating disk of matter against → gravitational collapse. It is expressed by the relation: Q = csκ / πGΣ, where cs is the → sound speed, κ the → epicyclic frequency, G the → gravitational constant, and Σ the → surface density. The disk is linearly stable for Q > 1 and linearly unstable for Q < 1.
After Alar Toomre (1936-), an American astrophysicist of Estonian origin, professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; → parameter.