Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 362, 1353-1362 (2005/October-1)
A stability analysis of radiative shocks in the presence of a transverse magnetic field.
RAMACHANDRAN B. and SMITH M.D.
Abstract (from CDS):
Radiative shock waves may be subject to a global thermal instability in which the cooling layer and shock front undergo growing resonant oscillations. For strong hydrodynamic shocks, the presence of the overstability depends on the temperature and density indices of power-law cooling functions and the specific heat ratio (α, β and γ, respectively). Here, we investigate the stabilizing influence of a transverse magnetic field by introducing the shock Alfvén number, Ma, as a fourth parameter. We thus investigate the stability criteria for both molecular and atomic shocks under a wide range of conditions. In particular, we find that all molecular shocks in which the cooling increases with the temperature (α > 0) are stabilized to the first four modes if Ma< 20 (β= 2). For α=-0.5, the first overtone remains stable only for Ma< 8. We conclude that molecular shocks in the interstellar medium are probably stabilized by a transverse magnetic field unless exceptional circumstances arise in which the cooling strongly increases as the gas cools.