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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 138923 matches for " Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni "
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Turbulent Formation of Interstellar Structures and the Connection Between Simulations and Observations
Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni
Physics , 1999,
Abstract: I review recent results derived from numerical simulations of the turbulent interstellar medium (ISM), in particular concerning the nature and formation of turbulent clouds, methods for comparing the structure in simulations and observations, and the effects of projection of three-dimensional structures onto two dimensions. Clouds formed as turbulent density fluctuations are probably not confined by thermal pressure, but rather their morphology may be determined by the large-scale velocity field. Also, they may have shorter lifetimes than normally believed, as the large-scale turbulent modes have larger associated velocities than the clouds' internal velocity dispersions. Structural characterization algorithms have started to distinguish the best fitting simulations to a particular observation, and have opened several new questions, such as the nature of the observed line width-size relation and of the relation between the structures seen in channel maps and the true spatial distribution of the density and velocity fields. The velocity field apparently dominates the morphology seen in intensity channel maps, at least in cases when the density field exhibits power spectra steep enough. Furthermore, the selection of scattered fluid parcels along the line of sight (LOS) by their LOS-velocity inherent to the construction of spectroscopic data may introduce spurious small-scale structure in high spectral resolution channel maps.
Is Thermal Instability Significant in Turbulent Galactic Gas?
Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni,Adriana Gazol,John Scalo
Physics , 2000, DOI: 10.1086/309318
Abstract: We investigate numerically the role of thermal instability (TI) as a generator of density structures in the interstellar medium (ISM), both by itself and in the context of a globally turbulent medium. Simulations of the instability alone show that the condenstion process which forms a dense phase (``clouds'') is highly dynamical, and that the boundaries of the clouds are accretion shocks, rather than static density discontinuities. The density histograms (PDFs) of these runs exhibit either bimodal shapes or a single peak at low densities plus a slope change at high densities. Final static situations may be established, but the equilibrium is very fragile: small density fluctuations in the warm phase require large variations in the density of the cold phase, probably inducing shocks into the clouds. This result suggests that such configurations are highly unlikely. Simulations including turbulent forcing show that large- scale forcing is incapable of erasing the signature of the TI in the density PDFs, but small-scale, stellar-like forcing causes erasure of the signature of the instability. However, these simulations do not reach stationary regimes, TI driving an ever-increasing star formation rate. Simulations including magnetic fields, self-gravity and the Coriolis force show no significant difference between the PDFs of stable and unstable cases, and reach stationary regimes, suggesting that the combination of the stellar forcing and the extra effective pressure provided by the magnetic field and the Coriolis force overwhelm TI as a density-structure generator in the ISM. We emphasize that a multi-modal temperature PDF is not necessarily an indication of a multi-phase medium, which must contain clearly distinct thermal equilibrium phases.
An Evolutionary Model for Collapsing Molecular Clouds and Their Star Formation Activity. II. Mass Dependence of the Star Formation Rate
Manuel Zamora-Avilés,Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/793/2/84
Abstract: We discuss the dependence of various properties of the star formation rate (SFR) and efficiency (SFE) in molecular clouds (MCs) on the maximum mass reached by the clouds, based on a previously-published model for MC and SFR evolution in which the clouds were assumed to be undergoing global collapse, and the SFR was controlled by ioniztion feedback. Because the model neglects various other processes, the results presented are upper limits. We find that clouds with $\Mmax \lesssim 10^4 \Msun$ end their lives with a mini-burst, at which the SFR reaches a peak of $\sim 10^4 ~\Msun \Myr^{-1}$, although its time average is only $\SFRavg \sim \hbox{ a few} \times 10^2 \Msun \Myr^{-1}$. The corresponding efficiencies are $\SFEmax \lesssim $60\%$ and $\SFEavg \lesssim $1\%$. For more massive clouds ($\Mmax \gtrsim 10^5 ~ \Msun$), the SFR first increases and then remains roughly constant for $\sim 10^7$ yr, because the clouds are influenced by the stellar feedback since earlier in their evolution. We find that $\SFRavg$ and $\SFEavg$ are well represented by the fits $\SFRavg \approx 100 (1+\Mmax/2 \times 10^5 ~ \Msun)^{2} ~ \Msun \Myr^{-1}$ and $\SFEavg \approx 0.024 (\Mmax/10^5 ~ \Msun)^{0.28}$, respectively. The massive model clouds follow the SFR-dense gas mass relation obtained by Gao \& Solomon for infrared galaxies, extrapolated down to MCs scales. Low-mass clouds fall above this relation, in agreement with recent observations. An integration of the model-predicted $\SFRavg$ over a Galactic GMC mass spectrum yields a realistic value for the Galactic SFR. Our results reinforce the suggestion that star-forming GMCs may be in global collapse, and still have low net SFRs and SFEs, due to the evaporation of most of the cloud material by the feedback from massive stars.
Testing assumptions and predictions of star-formation theories
Alejandro González-Samaniego,Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni,Ricardo F. González,Jongsoo Kim
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu400
Abstract: (Abridged). We present numerical simulations of isothermal, MHD, supersonic turbulence, designed to test various hypotheses frequently assumed in star formation(SF) theories. We consider three simulations, each with a different combination of physical size, rms sonic Mach number, and Jeans parameter, but chosen as to give the same value of the virial parameter and to conform with Larson's scaling relations. As in the non-magnetic case: we find no simultaneously subsonic and super-Jeans structures in our MHD simulations. We find that the fraction of small-scale super-Jeans structures increases when self gravity is turned on, and that the production of gravitationally unstable dense cores by turbulence alone is very low. This implies that self-gravity is in general necessary not only to induce the collapse of Jeans-unstable cores, but also to form them. We find that denser regions tend to have more negative values of the velocity divergence, implying a net inwards flow towards the regions' centers. We compare the results from our simulations with the predictions from the recent SF theories by Krumholz & McKee, Padoan & Nordlund, and Hennebelle & Chabrier, using the expressions recently provided by Federrath & Klessen. We find that none of these theories reproduces the dependence of the SFEff with Ms observed in our simulations in the MHD case. The SFEff predicted by the theories ranges between half and one order of magnitude larger than what we observe in the simulations in both the HD and the MHD cases. We conclude that the type of flow used in simulations like the ones presented here and assumed in recent SF theories, may not correctly represent the flow within actual clouds, and that theories that assume it does may be missing a fundamental aspect of the flow. We suggest that a more realistic regime may be that of hierarchical gravitational collapse.
Molecular cloud formation as seen in synthetic Hi and molecular gas observations
Jonathan S. Heiner,Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni,Javier Ballesteros-Paredes
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1153
Abstract: We present synthetic Hi and CO observations of a simulation of decaying turbulence in the thermally bistable neutral medium. We first present the simulation, with clouds initially consisting of clustered clumps. Self-gravity causes these clump clusters to form more homogeneous dense clouds. We apply a simple radiative transfer algorithm, and defining every cell with > 1 as molecular. We then produce maps of Hi, CO-free molecular gas, and CO, and investigate the following aspects: i) The spatial distribution of the warm, cold, and molecular gas, finding the well-known layered structure, with molecular gas surrounded by cold Hi, surrounded by warm Hi. ii) The velocity of the various components, with atomic gas generally flowing towards the molecular gas, and that this motion is reflected in the frequently observed bimodal shape of the Hi profiles. This conclusion is tentative, because we do not include feedback. iii) The production of Hi self-absorption (HISA) profiles, and the correlation of HISA with molecular gas. We test the suggestion of using the second derivative of the brightness temperature Hi profile to trace HISA and molecular gas, finding limitations. On a scale of ~parsecs, some agreement is obtained between this technique and actual HISA, as well as a correlation between HISA and N(mol). It quickly deteriorates towards sub-parsec scales. iv) The N-PDFs of the actual Hi gas and those recovered from the Hi line profiles, with the latter having a cutoff at column densities where the gas becomes optically thick, thus missing the contribution from the HISA-producing gas. We find that the power-law tail typical of gravitational contraction is only observed in the molecular gas, and that, before the power-law tail develops in the total gas density PDF, no CO is yet present, reinforcing the notion that gravitational contraction is needed to produce this component. (abridged)
An Evolutionary Model for Collapsing Molecular Clouds and Their Star Formation Activity
Manuel Zamora-Aviles,Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni,Pedro Colín
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/751/1/77
Abstract: We present an idealized, semi-empirical model for the evolution of gravitationally contracting molecular clouds (MCs) and their star formation rate (SFR) and efficiency (SFE). The model assumes that the instantaneous SFR is given by the mass above a certain density threshold divided by its free-fall time. The instantaneous number of massive stars is computed assuming a Kroupa IMF. These stars feed back on the cloud through ionizing radiation, eroding it. The main controlling parameter of the evolution turns out to be the maximum cloud mass, $\Mmax$. This allows us to compare various properties of the model clouds against their observational counterparts. A giant molecular cloud (GMC) model ($\Mmax \sim 10^5 \Msun$) adheres very well to the evolutionary scenario recently inferred by Kawamura et al. (2009) for GMCs in the Large Magellanic Cloud. A model cloud with $\Mmax \approx 2000 \Msun$ evolves in the Kennicutt-Schmidt diagram first passing through the locus of typical low- to-intermediate mass star-forming clouds, and then moving towards the locus of high-mass star-forming ones over the course of $\sim 10$ Myr. Also, the stellar age histograms for this cloud a few Myr before its destruction agree very well with those observed in the $\rho$-Oph stellar association, whose parent cloud has a similar mass, and imply that the SFR of the clouds increases with time. Our model thus agrees well with various observed properties of star-forming MCs, suggesting that the scenario of gravitationally collapsing MCs, with their SFR regulated by stellar feedback, is entirely feasible and in agreement with key observed properties of molecular clouds.
The Free-Fall time of finite Sheets and Filaments
Jesús A. Toalá,Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni,Gilberto C. Gómez
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/744/2/190
Abstract: Molecular clouds often exhibit filamentary or sheet-like shapes. We compute the free-fall time ($\tff$) for finite, uniform, self-gravitating circular sheets and filamentary clouds of small but finite thickness, so that their volume density $\rho$ can still be defined. We find that, for thin sheets, the free-fall time is larger than that of a uniform sphere with the same volume density by a factor proportional to $\sqrt{A}$, where the aspect ratio $A$ is given by $A=R/h$, $R$ being the sheet's radius and $h$ is its thickness. For filamentary clouds, the aspect ratio is defined as $A=L/\calR$, where $L$ is the filament's half length and $\calR$ is its (small) radius, and the modification factor is a more complicated, although in the limit of large $A$ it again reduces to nearly $\sqrt{A}$. We propose that our result for filamentary shapes naturally explains the ubiquitous configuration of clumps fed by filaments observed in the densest structures of molecular clouds. Also, the longer free-fall times for non-spherical geometries in general may contribute towards partially alleviating the "star-formation conundrum", namely, that the star formation rate in the Galaxy appears to be proceeding in a timescale much larger than the total molecular mass in the Galaxy divided by its typical free-fall time. If molecular clouds are in general formed by thin sheets and long filaments, then their relevant free-fall time may have been systematically underestimated, possibly by factors of up to one order of magnitude.
Inverse Hubble Flows in Molecular Clouds
Jesús A. Toalá,Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni,Pedro Colín,Gilberto C. Gómez
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu2368
Abstract: Motivated by recent numerical simulations of molecular cloud (MC)evolution, in which the clouds engage in global gravitational contraction, and local collapse events culminate significantly earlier than the global collapse, we investigate the growth of density perturbations embedded in a collapsing background, to which we refer as an Inverse Hubble Flow (IHF). We use the standard procedure for the growth of perturbations in a universe that first expands (the usual Hubble Flow) and then recollapses (the IHF). We find that linear density perturbations immersed in an IHF grow faster than perturbations evolving in a static background (the standard Jeans analysis). A fundamental distinction between the two regimes is that, in the Jeans case, the time $\tau_\mathrm{nl}$ for a density fluctuation to become nonlinear increases without limit as its initial value approaches zero, while in the IHF case $\tau_\mathrm{nl} \le \tau_\mathrm{ff}$ always, where $\tau_\mathrm{ff}$ is the free-fall time of the background density. We suggest that this effect, although moderate, implies that small-scale density fluctuations embedded in globally-collapsing clouds must collapse earlier than their parent cloud, regardless of whether the initial amplitude of the fluctuations is moderate or strongly nonlinear, thus allowing the classical mechanism of Hoyle fragmentation to operate in multi-Jeans-mass MCs. More fundamentally, our results show that, contrary to the standard paradigm that fluctuations of all scales grow at the same rate in the linear regime, the hierarchical nesting of the fluctuations of different scales does affect their growth even in the linear stage.
Hierarchical gravitational fragmentation. I. Collapsing cores within collapsing clouds
Raúl Naranjo-Romero,Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni,Robert M. Loughnane
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: We investigate the Hierarchical Gravitational Fragmentation scenario through numerical simulations of the prestellar stages of the collapse of a marginally gravitationally unstable isothermal sphere immersed in a strongly gravitationally unstable, uniform background medium. The core developes a Bonnor-Ebert (BE)-like density profile, while at the time of singularity (the protostar) formation the envelope approaches a singular-isothermal-sphere (SIS)-like $r^-2$ density profile. However, these structures are never hydrostatic. In this case, the central flat region is characterized by an infall speed, while the envelope is characterized by a uniform speed. This implies that the hydrostatic SIS initial condition leading to Shu's classical inside-out solution is not expected to occur, and therefore neither should the inside-out solution. Instead, the solution collapses from the outside-in, naturally explaining the observation of extended infall velocities. The core, defined by the radius at which it merges with the background, has a time-variable mass, and evolves along the locus of the ensemble of observed prestellar cores in a plot of $M/M_{BE}$ vs. $M$, where $M$ is the core's mass and $M_{BE}$ is the critical Bonnor-Ebert mass, spanning the range from the "stable" to the "unstable" regimes, even though it is collapsing at all times. We conclude that the presence of an unstable background allows a core to evolve dynamically from the time when it first appears, even when it resembles a pressure-confined, stable BE-sphere. The core can be thought of as a ram-pressure confined BE-sphere, with an increasing mass due to the accretion from the unstable background.
On the Effects of Projection on Morphology
Bárbara Pichardo,Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni,Adriana Gazol,Thierry Passot,Javier Ballesteros-Paredes
Physics , 1999, DOI: 10.1086/308546
Abstract: We study the effects of projection of three-dimensional (3D) data onto the plane of the sky by means of numerical simulations of turbulence in the interstellar medium including the magnetic field, parameterized cooling and diffuse and stellar heating, self-gravity and rotation. We compare the physical-space density and velocity distributions with their representation in position-position-velocity (PPV) space (``channel maps''), noting that the latter can be interpreted in two ways: either as maps of the column density's spatial distribution (at a given line-of-sight (LOS) velocity), or as maps of the spatial distribution of a given value of the LOS velocity (weighted by density). This ambivalence appears related to the fact that the spatial and PPV representations of the data give significantly different views. First, the morphology in the channel maps more closely resembles that of the spatial distribution of the LOS velocity component than that of the density field, as measured by pixel-to-pixel correlations between images. Second, the channel maps contain more small-scale structure than 3D slices of the density and velocity fields, a fact evident both in subjective appearance and in the power spectra of the images. This effect may be due to a pseudo-random sampling (along the LOS) of the gas contributing to the structure in a channel map: the positions sampled along the LOS (chosen by their LOS velocity) may vary significantly from one position in the channel map to the next.
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