Current Advances in the Computational Simulation of the Formation of Low-Mass Stars

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Developing a theory of low-mass star formation ({approx} 0.1 to 3 M{sub {circle_dot}}) remains one of the most elusive and important goals of theoretical astrophysics. The star-formation process is the outcome of the complex dynamics of interstellar gas involving non-linear interactions of turbulence, gravity, magnetic field and radiation. The evolution of protostellar condensations, from the moment they are assembled by turbulent flows to the time they reach stellar densities, spans an enormous range of scales, resulting in a major computational challenge for simulations. Since the previous Protostars and Planets conference, dramatic advances in the development of new numerical algorithmic techniques ... continued below

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Klein, R I; Inutsuka, S; Padoan, P & Tomisaka, K October 24, 2005.

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Developing a theory of low-mass star formation ({approx} 0.1 to 3 M{sub {circle_dot}}) remains one of the most elusive and important goals of theoretical astrophysics. The star-formation process is the outcome of the complex dynamics of interstellar gas involving non-linear interactions of turbulence, gravity, magnetic field and radiation. The evolution of protostellar condensations, from the moment they are assembled by turbulent flows to the time they reach stellar densities, spans an enormous range of scales, resulting in a major computational challenge for simulations. Since the previous Protostars and Planets conference, dramatic advances in the development of new numerical algorithmic techniques have been successfully implemented on large scale parallel supercomputers. Among such techniques, Adaptive Mesh Refinement and Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics have provided frameworks to simulate the process of low-mass star formation with a very large dynamic range. It is now feasible to explore the turbulent fragmentation of molecular clouds and the gravitational collapse of cores into stars self-consistently within the same calculation. The increased sophistication of these powerful methods comes with substantial caveats associated with the use of the techniques and the interpretation of the numerical results. In this review, we examine what has been accomplished in the field and present a critique of both numerical methods and scientific results. We stress that computational simulations should obey the available observational constraints and demonstrate numerical convergence. Failing this, results of large scale simulations do not advance our understanding of low-mass star formation.

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  • Presented at: Protostars and Planets V, Kona, HI, United States, Oct 24 - Oct 28, 2005

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  • Report No.: UCRL-PROC-216517
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 885394
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc892193

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • October 24, 2005

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  • Sept. 23, 2016, 2:42 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 1:24 p.m.

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Klein, R I; Inutsuka, S; Padoan, P & Tomisaka, K. Current Advances in the Computational Simulation of the Formation of Low-Mass Stars, article, October 24, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc892193/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.