Stellar dynamics and tidal disruption events in galactic nuclei
The disruption of a star by the tidal field of a massive black hole is the final outcome of a chain of complex dynamical processes in the host galaxy. I introduce the "loss cone problem", and describe the many theoretical and numerical challenges on the path of solving it. I review various dynamical channels by which stars can be supplied to a massive black hole, and the relevant dynamical relaxation / randomization mechanisms. I briefly mention some "exotic" tidal disruption scenarios, and conclude by discussing some new dynamical results that are changing our understanding of dynamics near a massive black hole, and may well be relevant for tidal disruption dynamics.