Presentation #305.03 in the session Dynamical Theory and Tools.
The point particle approximation is widely used in the study of planetary dynamics. While this zeroth order approximation is often a very good one, in many cases of interest crucial aspects of the dynamics are lost if the effects of structure are not accounted for. The equilibrium tide theory is a powerful dynamical prescription which accounts for the effects of structure: specifically, it self-consistently accounts for tidal interactions, gravitational potential arising from deviation from rotational deformation, and both the magnitude and direction of the planet’s rotation. We describe our integration of the equilibrium tide theory into the popular N-body simulator package REBOUND, providing a flexible and intuitive tool for the wider dynamics community. We will discuss both our implementation of the code, and benchmark its performance against analytic predictions and independent results.