Centrifugal Barrier in Low Mass Star Formation

Jones, Dylan, Astronomy, University of Virginia
Li, Zhi-Yun, University of Virginia

The classical sense of the centrifugal barrier comes from a single infalling particle at the edge of a collapsing molecular cloud core. As the particle collapses, it reaches a location, the centrifugal barrier, where it must rotate at a superkeplerian speed in order to generate a centripetal force large enough to slow down the infall speed. Within this thesis, we attempt to understand and identify this phenomenon by using hydrodynamic simulations. We present three sets of simulations exploring the parameter space of our physical model. The first set of simulations utilizes the isothermal equation of state and a 1/𝑟2 initial density profile. Then a uniform density profile was used, and finally we present our reference model, a uniform density profile with the Stiffened equation of state. We find a superkeplerian rotating region near the edge of a protostellar disk in our reference model, which is similar to this classical sense of the centrifugal barrier, but differs in that the superkeplerian rotation exists because of fluid interactions necessary to slow the collapse of the infalling envelope, rather than a single infalling particle.

BA (Bachelor of Arts)
Centrifugal Barrier, Star Formation, Protostellar Disk
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