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Actions for axisymmetric potentials




We give an algorithm for the economical calculation of angles and actions for stars in axisymmetric potentials. We test the algorithm by integrating orbits in a realistic model of the Galactic potential, and find that, even for orbits characteristic of thick-disc stars, the errors in the actions are typically smaller than 2 per cent. We describe a scheme for obtaining actions by interpolation on tabulated values that significantly accelerates the process of calculating observables quantities, such as density and velocity moments, from a distribution function.