Combining radiative transfer and diffuse interstellar medium physics to model star formation
Bate, Matthew R.
Keto, Eric R.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Oxford University Press for Royal Astronomical Society
Copyright © 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
We present a method for modelling star-forming clouds that combines two different models of the thermal evolution of the interstellar medium (ISM). In the combined model, where the densities are low enough that at least some part of the spectrum is optically thin, a model of the thermodynamics of the diffuse ISM is more significant in setting the temperatures. Where the densities are high enough to be optically thick across the spectrum, a model of flux-limited diffusion is more appropriate. Previous methods either model the low-density ISM and ignore the thermal behaviour at high densities (e.g. inside collapsing molecular cloud cores), or model the thermal behaviour near protostars but assume a fixed background temperature (e.g. ≈10 K) on large scales. Our new method treats both regimes. It also captures the different thermal evolution of the gas, dust, and radiation separately. We compare our results with those from the literature, and investigate the dependence of the thermal behaviour of the gas on the various model parameters. This new method should allow us to model the ISM across a wide range of densities and, thus, develop a more complete and consistent understanding of the role of thermodynamics in the star formation process.
European Research Council - European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2015 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
The dataset associated with this journal article can be found in ORE at http://hdl.handle.net/10871/17067
Vol. 449 (3), pp. 2643-2667