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The role of thermodynamics in disc fragmentation

Stamatelos, Dimitrios and Whitworth, Anthony Peter 2009. The role of thermodynamics in disc fragmentation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 400 (3) , pp. 1563-1573. 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15564.x

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Thermodynamics play an important role in determining the way a protostellar disc fragments to form planets, brown dwarfs and low-mass stars. We explore the effect that different treatments of radiative transfer have in simulations of fragmenting discs. Three prescriptions for the radiative transfer are used: (i) the diffusion approximation of Stamatellos et al.; (ii) the barotropic equation of state (EOS) of Goodwin et al. and (iii) the barotropic EOS of Bate et al. The barotropic approximations capture the general evolution of the density and temperature at the centre of each proto-fragment but (i) they do not make any adjustments for particular circumstances of a proto-fragment forming in the disc and (ii) they do not take into account thermal inertia effects that are important for fast-forming proto-fragments in the outer disc region. As a result, the number of fragments formed in the disc and their properties are different, when a barotropic EOS is used. This is important not only for disc studies but also for simulations of collapsing turbulent clouds, as in many cases in such simulations stars form with discs that subsequently fragment. We also examine the difference in the way proto-fragments condense out in the disc at different distances from the central star using the diffusion approximation and following the collapse of each proto-fragment until the formation of the second core (ρ≃ 10−3 g cm−3). We find that proto-fragments forming closer to the central star tend to form earlier and evolve faster from the first to the second core than proto-fragments forming in the outer disc region. The former have a large pool of material in the inner disc region that they can accrete from and grow in mass. The latter accrete more slowly and they are hotter because they generally form in a quick abrupt event.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA)
Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; hydrodynamics; radiative transfer; methods: numerical; stars: formation; stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0035-8711
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:29

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