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Paper: Structure and Fragmentation of Turbulent Interstellar Clouds
Volume: 429, Numerical Modeling of Space Plasma Flows, Astronum-2009
Page: 59
Authors: Audit, E.; Hennebelle, P.
Abstract: It is well established that the atomic interstellar hydrogen is filling the galaxies and constitutes the building blocks of molecular clouds. To understand the formation and the evolution of molecular clouds, it is necessary to investigate the dynamics of a turbulent and thermally bistable flow. We perform high resolution 3-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations of 2-phase, isothermal and polytropic flows. We compare the density PDF in the various simulations and conclude that 2-phase flows behave rather differently than polytropic flows. We also extract the clumps and study their statistical properties such as mass spectrum and mass-size relation. In each case, it is found that the behavior is well represented by a simple powerlaw. The structures statistics are very similar to what has been inferred from observations, in particular the mass spectrum and the mass-size relation. Our results suggest that in spite of various statistics being similar for 2-phase and polytropic flows, they nevertheless present significant differences, stressing the necessity to consider the proper thermal structure of the interstellar atomic hydrogen for computing its dynamics as well as the formation of molecular clouds.
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