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Paper: Evaporation and Thermal Balance of Tiny HI Clouds
Volume: 365, SINS — Small Ionized and Neutral Structures in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium
Page: 113
Authors: Slavin, J.D.
Abstract: We discuss the thermal evaporation of tiny HI clouds in the interstellar medium. Cold neutral clouds will take ~ 106 − 107 yr to evaporate if they are embedded in warm neutral gas and about half as long if embedded in hot gas. Heat flux saturation effects severely reduce the evaporation rate of cold neutral medium (CNM) clouds into hot gas. For CNM clouds embedded in warm neutral medium (WNM) the much lower conductivity results in slower evaporation. This mass loss rate could still be significant, however, if the environment is relatively quiescent. Partial ionization of the WNM gas would substantially reduce the conductivity and lengthen the lifetime of the tiny HI clouds. The ultimate importance of thermal conduction to cloud evolution will depend on the role of turbulence and the characteristics of the medium in which the clouds are embedded.
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