Back to Volume
Paper: Recent Advances in the Collapse and Fragmentation of Turbulent Molecular Cloud Cores
Volume: 323, Star Formation in the Interstellar Medium: In Honor of David Hollenbach, Chris McKee, and Frank Shu
Page: 227
Authors: Klein, R.I.; Fisher, R.T.; McKee, C.F.; Krumholz, M.R.
Abstract: The formation of Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs) sets the stage for the formation of protostellar systems by the gravitational collapse of dense regions within the GMC that fragment into smaller core components that in turn condense into stars. Developing a theory of low mass star formation has the inherent difficulty that the gravitational collapse depends critically upon initial conditions within the cores which only recently have been known with sufficient accuracy to permit a realistic theoretical attack on the problem. Observations of stars in the vicinity of the Sun show that binary systems are prevalent and appear to be a general outcome of the collapse and fragmentation process.

One of the goals of this research is to understand the nature and physical properties of the formation of binary and multiple stellar systems with typical low mass stars 0.2 to 3 Solar masses. We have developed a powerful numerical technology that will contribute to answering these questions. This technology consists of a parallel adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) self-gravitational radiation hydrodynamics code. Our 3-D AMR code dynamically and automatically inserts and removes patches of recursively finer mesh through computational space as dictated by the changing temporal and spatial resolution requirements of the simulation. This results in considerable computational efficiency over conventional codes when applied to problems involving gravitational collapse across many orders of magnitude in density at locations in the computational volume not determinable beforehand.

In this paper we present preliminary results for the investigation of the parameter space of marginally stable, turbulent molecular cloud cores as they collapse and evolve to form stars. We discuss our initial conditions for molecular cloud cores and how they relate to observations of cloud cores. Finally, we briefly describe new advances in our code where we have developed a general moving sink particle method with AMR and a newly developed unsplit Godunov MHD capability.
Back to Volume