60 research outputs found

    Modeling the Pollution of Pristine Gas in the Early Universe

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    We conduct a comprehensive theoretical and numerical investigation of the pollution of pristine gas in turbulent flows, designed to provide new tools for modeling the evolution of the first generation of stars. The properties of such Population III (Pop III) stars are thought to be very different than later generations, because cooling is dramatically different in gas with a metallicity below a critical value Z_c, which lies between ~10^-6 and 10^-3 solar value. Z_c is much smaller than the typical average metallicity, , and thus the mixing efficiency of the pristine gas in the interstellar medium plays a crucial role in the transition from Pop III to normal star formation. The small critical value, Z_c, corresponds to the far left tail of the probability distribution function (PDF) of the metallicity. Based on closure models for the PDF formulation of turbulent mixing, we derive equations for the fraction of gas, P, lying below Z_c, in compressible turbulence. Our simulation data shows that the evolution of the fraction P can be well approximated by a generalized self-convolution model, which predicts dP/dt = -n/tau_con P (1-P^(1/n)), where n is a measure of the locality of the PDF convolution and the timescale tau_con is determined by the rate at which turbulence stretches the pollutants. Using a suite of simulations with Mach numbers ranging from M = 0.9 to 6.2, we provide accurate fits to n and tau_con as a function of M, Z_c/, and the scale, L_p, at which pollutants are added to the flow. For P>0.9, mixing occurs only in the regions surrounding the pollutants, such that n=1. For smaller P, n is larger as mixing becomes more global. We show how the results can be used to construct one-zone models for the evolution of Pop III stars in a single high-redshift galaxy, as well as subgrid models for tracking the evolution of the first stars in large cosmological simulations.Comment: 37 pages, accepted by Ap

    Turbulence-Induced Relative Velocity of Dust Particles II: The Bidisperse Case

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    We extend our earlier work on turbulence-induced relative velocity between equal-size particles (Pan and Padoan, Paper I) to particles of arbitrarily different sizes. The Pan and Padoan (PP10) model shows that the relative velocity between different particles has two contributions, named the generalized shear and acceleration terms, respectively. The generalized shear term represents the particles' memory of the spatial flow velocity difference across the particle distance in the past, while the acceleration term is associated with the temporal flow velocity difference on individual particle trajectories. Using the simulation of Paper I, we compute the root-mean-square relative velocity, ^1/2, as a function of the friction times, tau_p1 and tau_p2, of the two particles, and show that the PP10 prediction is in satisfactory agreement with the data, confirming its physical picture. For a given tau_p1 below the Lagrangian correlation time of the flow, T_L, ^1/2 as a function of tau_p2 shows a dip at tau_p2~tau_p1, indicating tighter velocity correlation between similar particles. Defining a ratio f=tau_pl/tau_ph, with tau_pl and tau_ph the friction times of the smaller and larger particles, we find that ^1/2 increases with decreasing f due to the generalized acceleration contribution, which dominates at f<1/4. At a fixed f, our model predicts that ^1/2 scales as tau_ph^1/2 for tau_p,h in the inertial range of the flow, stays roughly constant for T_L <tau_ph < T_L/f, and finally decreases as tau_ph^-1/2 for tau_ph>>T_L/f. The acceleration term is independent of the particle distance, r, and thus reduces the r-dependence of ^1/2 in the bidisperse case.Comment: 23 pages, 12 figures, Accepted to Ap
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