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Molecular cloud formation with self-consistent thermal and chemical treatment of the gas

Micic, Milica

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Understanding physical and chemical processes that guide the formation and evolution of giant molecular clouds (GMCs) has important implications for the formation of stars. GMCs dominantly consist of molecular hydrogen, but there are more than 200 chemical species of various combinations of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms. Together, these species control the cooling ability with the thermal and dynamical evolution of the gas cloud. In order to overcome the restrictions encountered by most previous models of molecular cloud formation due to the complexity of chemical reaction networks and its inclusion in hydrodynamical codes, we have implemented detailed treatment of atomic/molecular cooling and hydrogen chemistry into state-of-art high resolution hydrodynamical simulations. The main focus of our study is on the influence that choosing between different cooling functions and turbulent driving has on the formation and evolution of molecular gas. In that manner, we study the influence of the nature of the turbulence on the formation of molecular hydrogen by examining both solenoidal (divergence-free) and compressive (curl-free) turbulent driving. The obtained results we use to test a simple prescription suggested by Gnedin et al. (2009) for modelling the influence of unresolved density fluctuations on the H2 formation rate in largescale simulations of the ISM. We also investigate the properties of the dense clumps formed within our model of the molecular cloud formation in converging flows and directly compare the results obtained using the simple, parametrized cooling function introduced by Koyama & Inutsuka (2002) and used by a number of converging flows studies with the results of the detailed calculation of the non-equilibrium chemistry and thermal balance of the gas. Finally, we study C I and CO emission from molecular clouds in comparison to their column densities and the total column density, as we look for the way to trace the structure of the cloud.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Klessen, Prof. Dr. Ralf
Date of thesis defense: 9 January 2013
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2013 08:59
Date: 11 January 2013
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Dekanat der Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie
Subjects: 530 Physics
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