Dense Regions in Supersonic Isothermal Turbulence

Brant E Robertson, Peter Goldreich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The properties of supersonic isothermal turbulence influence a variety of astrophysical phenomena, including the structure and evolution of star-forming clouds. This work presents a simple model for the structure of dense regions in turbulence in which the density distribution behind isothermal shocks originates from rough hydrostatic balance between the pressure gradient behind the shock and its deceleration from ram pressure applied by the background fluid. Using simulations of supersonic isothermal turbulence and idealized waves moving through a background medium, we show that the structural properties of dense, shocked regions broadly agree with our analytical model. Our work provides a new conceptual picture for describing the dense regions, which complements theoretical efforts to understand the bulk statistical properties of turbulence and attempts to model the more complex features of star-forming clouds like magnetic fields, self-gravity, or radiative properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number88
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume854
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 2018
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

turbulence
shock
stars
ram
deceleration
hydrostatics
pressure gradients
pressure gradient
complement
density distribution
astrophysics
gravity
gravitation
magnetic field
fluid
fluids
magnetic fields
simulation

Keywords

  • hydrodynamics
  • ISM: clouds
  • stars: formation
  • turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Dense Regions in Supersonic Isothermal Turbulence. / Robertson, Brant E; Goldreich, Peter.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 854, No. 2, 88, 20.02.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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