### Love number

**(Love-Shida number)**
(measures of rigidity of a body)

The **Love numbers** (or **Love-Shida numbers**) are three numbers that describe
the rigidity of a body, aimed at quantitatively describing
the body's potential deformation due to a tidal force.
They are scaled so 0 indicates "absolute rigidity", i.e.,
such a force would cause no deformation. The
three Love numbers are:

- h - ratio of deformation of the body toward or away from the body causing the tide.
- k - ratio of that part of the deformation of the body (h) due to "higher order" effects, specifically due to the resulting rearrangement of the body's mass (and gravitational field).
- l - a similar ratio capturing the horizontal deformation, e.g., toward the point closest to the body causing the tide.

*h* is scaled so that for a body with no rigidity, e.g., liquid,
h-k would be 1. It happens that for such a body, k would be 1.5
and h would be 2.5.
The numbers are unlikely to be uniform throughout an entire body,
which can be made of many substances with differing characteristics.
Modeling the numbers as varying over the surface using a
multipole expansion, the numbers h_{2}, k_{2},
and l_{2} are the most interesting, the major reason being
the symmetry of the nearly-spherical bodies (c.f., J_{2}).

The numbers are used for the calculation of tides on the Earth,
which was the motivation for their development. They are also of interest
in astrophysics in studying the effects of tides on solar system
moons, which offer a window into the moons' internal structure.

(*measure,physics,tidal*)
**Further reading:**

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_number

**Referenced by pages:**

neutron star merger

Index