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Dense Regions in Supersonic Isothermal Turbulence

Robertson, Brant and Goldreich, Peter (2018) Dense Regions in Supersonic Isothermal Turbulence. Astrophysical Journal, 854 (2). Art. No. 88. ISSN 1538-4357. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180215-155848486

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Abstract

The properties of supersonic isothermal turbulence influence a variety of astrophysical phenomena, including the structure and evolution of star-forming clouds. This work presents a simple model for the structure of dense regions in turbulence in which the density distribution behind isothermal shocks originates from rough hydrostatic balance between the pressure gradient behind the shock and its deceleration from ram pressure applied by the background fluid. Using simulations of supersonic isothermal turbulence and idealized waves moving through a background medium, we show that the structural properties of dense, shocked regions broadly agree with our analytical model. Our work provides a new conceptual picture for describing the dense regions, which complements theoretical efforts to understand the bulk statistical properties of turbulence and attempts to model the more complex features of star-forming clouds like magnetic fields, self-gravity, or radiative properties.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aaa89eDOIArticle
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/aaa89e/metaPublisherArticle
https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.05440arXivDiscussion Paper
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Robertson, Brant0000-0002-4271-0364
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2017 September 13; revised 2018 January 13; accepted 2018 January 15; published 2018 February 15. We thank the anonymous referee for helpful suggestions that improved our manuscript. Some of these calculations made use of the Hyades supercomputer at UCSC, supported by grant NSF AST-1229745. This work used the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), which is supported by National Science Foundation grant No. ACI-1548562; see Towns et al. (2014) for more details. Software: Athena (Stone et al. 2008), FLASH (Fryxell et al. 2000), and Voro++ (Rycroft 2009).
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFAST-1229745
NSFACI-1548562
Subject Keywords:hydrodynamics – ISM: clouds – stars: formation – turbulence
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180215-155848486
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180215-155848486
Official Citation:Brant Robertson and Peter Goldreich 2018 ApJ 854 88
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84856
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Feb 2018 20:58
Last Modified:20 Feb 2018 20:58

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