772,565 research outputs found

### Star Formation and Gas Dynamics in Galactic Disks: Physical Processes and Numerical Models

Star formation depends on the available gaseous "fuel" as well as galactic
environment, with higher specific star formation rates where gas is
predominantly molecular and where stellar (and dark matter) densities are
higher. The partition of gas into different thermal components must itself
depend on the star formation rate, since a steady state distribution requires a
balance between heating (largely from stellar UV for the atomic component) and
cooling. In this presentation, I discuss a simple thermal and dynamical
equilibrium model for the star formation rate in disk galaxies, where the basic
inputs are the total surface density of gas and the volume density of stars and
dark matter, averaged over ~kpc scales. Galactic environment is important
because the vertical gravity of the stars and dark matter compress gas toward
the midplane, helping to establish the pressure, and hence the cooling rate. In
equilibrium, the star formation rate must evolve until the gas heating rate is
high enough to balance this cooling rate and maintain the pressure imposed by
the local gravitational field. In addition to discussing the formulation of
this equilibrium model, I review the current status of numerical simulations of
multiphase disks, focusing on measurements of quantities that characterize the
mean properties of the diffuse ISM. Based on simulations, turbulence levels in
the diffuse ISM appear relatively insensitive to local disk conditions and
energetic driving rates, consistent with observations. It remains to be
determined, both from observations and simulations, how mass exchange processes
control the ratio of cold-to-warm gas in the atomic ISM.Comment: 8 pages, 1 figure; to appear in "IAU Symposium 270: Computational
Star formation", Eds. J. Alves, B. Elmegreen, J. Girart, V. Trimbl

### Formation of proto-clusters and star formation within clusters: apparent universality of the initial mass function ?

It is believed that the majority of stars form in clusters. Therefore it is
likely that the gas physical conditions that prevail in forming clusters,
largely determine the properties of stars that form and in particular the
initial mass function. We develop an analytical model to account for the
formation of low mass clusters and the formation of stars within clusters. The
formation of clusters is determined by an accretion rate, the virial
equilibrium and energy as well as thermal balance. For this latter both
molecular and dust cooling are considered using published rates. The star
distribution is computed within the cluster using the physical conditions
inferred from this model and the Hennebelle & Chabrier theory. Our model
reproduces well the mass-size relation of low mass clusters (up to few $\simeq
10^3$ M$_\odot$ of stars corresponding to about 5 times more gas) and an
initial mass function which is $i)$ very close to the Chabrier's IMF, $ii)$
weakly dependent on the mass of the clusters, $iii)$ relatively robust to (i.e.
not too steeply dependent on) variations of physical quantities as accretion
rate, radiation and cosmic rays abundances. The weak dependence of the mass
distribution of stars with the cluster mass results from the compensation
between varying clusters densities, velocity dispersions and temperatures all
inferred from first physical principles. This constitutes a possible
explanation for the apparent universality of the IMF within the Galaxy though
variations with the local conditions could certainly be observed.Comment: accepted for publication in A&

### From the warm magnetized atomic medium to molecular clouds

{It has recently been proposed that giant molecular complexes form at the
sites where streams of diffuse warm atomic gas collide at transonic
velocities.} {We study the global statistics of molecular clouds formed by
large scale colliding flows of warm neutral atomic interstellar gas under ideal
MHD conditions. The flows deliver material as well as kinetic energy and
trigger thermal instability leading eventually to gravitational collapse.} {We
perform adaptive mesh refinement MHD simulations which, for the first time in
this context, treat self-consistently cooling and self-gravity.} {The clouds
formed in the simulations develop a highly inhomogeneous density and
temperature structure, with cold dense filaments and clumps condensing from
converging flows of warm atomic gas. In the clouds, the column density
probability density distribution (PDF) peaks at \sim 2 \times 10^{21} \psc
and decays rapidly at higher values; the magnetic intensity correlates weakly
with density from $n \sim 0.1$ to 10^4 \pcc, and then varies roughly as
$n^{1/2}$ for higher densities.} {The global statistical properties of such
molecular clouds are reasonably consistent with observational determinations.
Our numerical simulations suggest that molecular clouds formed by the
moderately supersonic collision of warm atomic gas streams.}Comment: submitted to A&

### A Compact Solid State Detector for Small Angle Particle Tracking

MIDAS (MIcrostrip Detector Array System) is a compact silicon tracking
telescope for charged particles emitted at small angles in intermediate energy
photonuclear reactions. It was realized to increase the angular acceptance of
the DAPHNE detector and used in an experimental program to check the
Gerasimov-Drell-Hearn sum rule at the Mainz electron microtron, MAMI. MIDAS
provides a trigger for charged hadrons, p/pi identification and particle
tracking in the region 7 deg < theta < 16 deg. In this paper we present the
main characteristics of MIDAS and its measured performances.Comment: 13 pages (9 figures). Submitted to NIM

### Comparing the statistics of interstellar turbulence in simulations and observations: Solenoidal versus compressive turbulence forcing

We study two limiting cases of turbulence forcing in numerical experiments:
solenoidal (divergence-free) forcing, and compressive (curl-free) forcing, and
compare our results to observations reported in the literature. We solve the
equations of hydrodynamics on grids with up to 1024^3 cells for purely
solenoidal and purely compressive forcing. Eleven lower-resolution models with
mixtures of both forcings are also analysed. We find velocity dispersion--size
relations consistent with observations and independent numerical simulations,
irrespective of the type of forcing. However, compressive forcing yields
stronger turbulent compression at the same RMS Mach number than solenoidal
forcing, resulting in a three times larger standard deviation of volumetric and
column density probability distributions (PDFs). We conclude that the strong
dependence of the density PDF on the type of forcing must be taken into account
in any theory using the PDF to predict properties of star formation. We supply
a quantitative description of this dependence. We find that different observed
regions show evidence of different mixtures of compressive and solenoidal
forcing, with more compressive forcing occurring primarily in swept-up shells.Comment: 28 pages, 20 figures, published as Highlight Paper in A&A, 512, A81
(2010); simulation movies available at
http://www.ita.uni-heidelberg.de/~chfeder/videos.shtml?lang=e

### Modelling the shapes of the largest gravitationally bound objects

We combine the physics of the ellipsoidal collapse model with the excursion
set theory to study the shapes of dark matter halos. In particular, we develop
an analytic approximation to the nonlinear evolution that is more accurate than
the Zeldovich approximation; we introduce a planar representation of halo axis
ratios, which allows a concise and intuitive description of the dynamics of
collapsing regions and allows one to relate the final shape of a halo to its
initial shape; we provide simple physical explanations for some empirical
fitting formulae obtained from numerical studies. Comparison with simulations
is challenging, as there is no agreement about how to define a non-spherical
gravitationally bound object. Nevertheless, we find that our model matches the
conditional minor-to-intermediate axis ratio distribution rather well, although
it disagrees with the numerical results in reproducing the minor-to-major axis
ratio distribution. In particular, the mass dependence of the minor-to-major
axis distribution appears to be the opposite to what is found in many previous
numerical studies, where low-mass halos are preferentially more spherical than
high-mass halos. In our model, the high-mass halos are predicted to be more
spherical, consistent with results based on a more recent and elaborate halo
finding algorithm, and with observations of the mass dependence of the shapes
of early-type galaxies. We suggest that some of the disagreement with some
previous numerical studies may be alleviated if we consider only isolated
halos.Comment: 15 pages, 8 figures. New appendix added, extended discussion. Matches
version accepted by MNRA

### Two-dimensional AMR simulations of colliding flows

Colliding flows are a commonly used scenario for the formation of molecular
clouds in numerical simulations. Due to the thermal instability of the warm
neutral medium, turbulence is produced by cooling. We carry out a
two-dimensional numerical study of such colliding flows in order to test
whether statistical properties inferred from adaptive mesh refinement (AMR)
simulations are robust with respect to the applied refinement criteria. We
compare probability density functions of various quantities as well as the
clump statistics and fractal dimension of the density fields in AMR simulations
to a static-grid simulation. The static grid with 2048^2 cells matches the
resolution of the most refined subgrids in the AMR simulations. The density
statistics is reproduced fairly well by AMR. Refinement criteria based on the
cooling time or the turbulence intensity appear to be superior to the standard
technique of refinement by overdensity. Nevertheless, substantial differences
in the flow structure become apparent. In general, it is difficult to separate
numerical effects from genuine physical processes in AMR simulations.Comment: 6 pages, 6 figures, submitted to A&

### Some improvements to the spherical collapse model

I study the joint effect of dynamical friction, tidal torques and
cosmological constant on clusters of galaxies formation I show that within
high-density environments, such as rich clusters of galaxies, both dynamical
friction and tidal torques slows down the collapse of low-? peaks producing an
observable variation in the time of collapse of the perturbation and, as a
consequence, a reduction in the mass bound to the collapsed perturbation
Moreover, the delay of the collapse produces a tendency for less dense regions
to accrete less mass, with respect to a classical spherical model, inducing a
biasing of over-dense regions toward higher mass I show how the threshold of
collapse is modified if dynamical friction, tidal torques and a non-zero
cosmological constant are taken into account and I use the Extended Press
Schecter (EPS) approach to calculate the effects on the mass function Then, I
compare the numerical mass function given in Reed et al (2003) with the
theoretical mass function obtained in the present paper I show that the barrier
obtained in the present paper gives rise to a better description of the mass
function evolution with respect to other previous models (Sheth & Tormen 1999,
MNRAS, 308, 119 (hereafter ST); Sheth & Tormen 2002, MNRAS, 329, 61 (hereafter
ST1)

### Clump morphology and evolution in MHD simulations of molecular cloud formation

Abridged: We study the properties of clumps formed in three-dimensional
weakly magnetized magneto-hydrodynamic simulations of converging flows in the
thermally bistable, warm neutral medium (WNM). We find that: (1) Similarly to
the situation in the classical two-phase medium, cold, dense clumps form
through dynamically-triggered thermal instability in the compressed layer
between the convergent flows, and are often characterised by a sharp density
jump at their boundaries though not always. (2) However, the clumps are bounded
by phase-transition fronts rather than by contact discontinuities, and thus
they grow in size and mass mainly by accretion of WNM material through their
boundaries. (3) The clump boundaries generally consist of thin layers of
thermally unstable gas, but these layers are often widened by the turbulence,
and penetrate deep into the clumps. (4) The clumps are approximately in both
ram and thermal pressure balance with their surroundings, a condition which
causes their internal Mach numbers to be comparable to the bulk Mach number of
the colliding WNM flows. (5) The clumps typically have mean temperatures 20 < T
< 50 K, corresponding to the wide range of densities they contain (20 < n <
5000 pcc) under a nearly-isothermal equation of state. (6) The turbulent ram
pressure fluctuations of the WNM induce density fluctuations that then serve as
seeds for local gravitational collapse within the clumps. (7) The velocity and
magnetic fields tend to be aligned with each other within the clumps, although
both are significantly fluctuating, suggesting that the velocity tends to
stretch and align the magnetic field with it. (8) The typical mean field
strength in the clumps is a few times larger than that in the WNM. (9) The
magnetic field strength has a mean value of B ~ 6 mu G ...Comment: substantially revised version, accepted by MNRAS, 13 pages, 14
figures, high resolution version:
http://www.ita.uni-heidelberg.de/~banerjee/publications/MC_Formation_Paper2.pd

### Dynamic star formation in the massive DR21 filament

The formation of massive stars is a highly complex process in which it is not
clear whether the star-forming gas is in global gravitational collapse or in an
equilibrium state, supported by turbulence. By studying one of the most massive
and dense star-forming regions in the Galaxy at a distance of less than 3 kpc,
the filament containing the well-known sources DR21 and DR21(OH), we expect to
find observational signatures that allow to discriminate between the two views.
We use molecular line data from our 13CO 1-0, CS 2-1, and N2H+ 1-0 survey of
the Cygnus X region obtained with the FCRAO and high-angular resolution
observations of CO, CS, HCO+, N2H+, and H2CO, obtained with the IRAM 30m
telescope. We observe a complex velocity field and velocity dispersion in the
DR21 filament in which regions of highest column-density, i.e. dense cores,
have a lower velocity dispersion than the surrounding gas and velocity
gradients that are not (only) due to rotation. Infall signatures in optically
thick line profiles of HCO+ and 12CO are observed along and across the whole
DR21 filament. From modelling the observed spectra, we obtain a typical infall
speed of 0.6 km/s and mass accretion rates of the order of a few 10^-3 Msun/yr
for the two main clumps constituting the filament. These massive (4900 and 3300
Msun) clumps are both gravitationally contracting. All observed kinematic
features in the DR21 filament can be explained if it is formed by the
convergence of flows at large scales and is now in a state of global
gravitational collapse. Whether this convergence of flows originated from
self-gravity at larger scales or from other processes can not be settled with
the present study. The observed velocity field and velocity dispersion are
consistent with results from (magneto)-hydrodynamic simulations where the cores
lie at the stagnation points of convergent turbulent flows.Comment: Astronomy and Astrophysics, in pres

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