The metastable dynamo model of stellar rotational evolution.
Abstract (from CDS):
This paper introduces a new empirical model for the rotational evolution of Sun-like stars–those with surface convection zones and non-convective interior regions. Previous models do not match the morphology of observed (rotation period)-color diagrams, notably the existence of a relatively long-lived "C-sequence" of fast rotators first identified by Barnes. This failure motivates the Metastable Dynamo Model (MDM) described here. The MDM posits that stars are born with their magnetic dynamos operating in a mode that couples very weakly to the stellar wind, so their (initially very short) rotation periods at first change little with time. At some point, this mode spontaneously and randomly changes to a strongly coupled mode, the transition occurring with a mass-dependent lifetime that is of the order of 100 Myr. I show that with this assumption, one can obtain good fits to observations of young clusters, particularly for ages of 150-200 Myr. Previous models and the MDM both give qualitative agreement with the morphology of the slower-rotating "I-sequence" stars, but none of them have been shown to accurately reproduce the stellar-mass-dependent evolution of the I-sequence stars, especially for clusters older than a few hundred million years. I discuss observational experiments that can test aspects of the MDM, and speculate that the physics underlying the MDM may be related to other situations described in the literature, in which stellar dynamos may have a multi-modal character.
stars: activity - stars: magnetic field - stars: rotation - stars: solar-type