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Astronomy Tea Talks at Caltech

Mondays, Robinson 106
Tea:  4.00pm
Talk: 4.15pm

Organized by:

2008 - 2009 season:
27 October 2008 Stella Offner (Berkeley)

"AMR Studies of Star Formation: Simulations and Simulated Observations?"

Molecular clouds are typically observed to be approximately
virialized with gravitational and turbulent energy in balance,
yielding a star formation rate of a few percent. The origin and
characteristics of the observed supersonic turbulence are poorly
understood, and without continued energy injection the turbulence is
predicted to decay within a cloud dynamical time. Recent observations
and analytic work have suggested a strong connection between the
initial stellar mass function, the core mass function, and turbulence
characteristics. The role of magnetic fields in determining core
lifetimes, shapes, and kinematic properties remains hotly debated.
Simulations are a formidable tool for studying the complex process of
star formation and addressing these puzzles. I present my results
modeling low-mass star formation using the ORION adaptive mesh
refinement (AMR) code. I investigate the properties of forming cores
and protostars in simulations in which the turbulence is driven to
maintain virial balance and where it is allowed to decay. I will
discuss simulated observations of cores in dust emission and in
molecular tracers and compare to observations of local star-forming
clouds. I will also present results from ORION cluster simulations
including flux-limited diffusion radiative transfer and show that
radiative feedback, even from low-mass stars, has a significant
effect on core fragmentation, disk properties, and the IMF. Finally,
I will discuss the new simulation frontier of AMR multigroup
radiative transfer.

If you are interested in meeting with Stella, please email her at to arrange a meeting time.

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Last modified on 20th Jul 2011 by Scott Schnee.  

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