Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 456, 4174-4190 (2016/March-2)
The fundamentally different dynamics of dust and gas in molecular clouds.
HOPKINS P.F. and LEE H.
Abstract (from CDS):
We study the behaviour of large dust grains in turbulent molecular clouds (MCs). In primarily neutral regions, dust grains move as aerodynamic particles, not necessarily with the gas. We therefore directly simulate, for the first time, the behaviour of aerodynamic grains in highly supersonic, magnetohydrodynamic turbulence typical of MCs. We show that, under these conditions, grains with sizes a ≳ 0.01micron exhibit dramatic (exceeding factor ∼ 1000) fluctuations in the local dust-to-gas ratio (implying large small-scale variations in abundances, dust cooling rates, and dynamics). The dust can form highly filamentary structures (which would be observed in both dust emission and extinction), which can be much thinner than the characteristic width of gas filaments. Sometimes, the dust and gas filaments are not even in the same location. The `clumping factor' <n_dust^2 >/ <n_dust >^2 of the dust (critical for dust growth/coagulation/shattering) can reach ∼ 100, for grains in the ideal size range. The dust clustering is maximized around scales ∼ 0.2pc(a/µm)(ngas/100cm- 3)- 1, and is `averaged out' on larger scales. However, because the density varies widely in supersonic turbulence, the dynamic range of scales (and interesting grain sizes) for these fluctuations is much broader than in the subsonic case. Our results are applicable to MCs of essentially all sizes and densities, but we note how Lorentz forces and other physics (neglected here) may change them in some regimes. We discuss the potentially dramatic consequences for star formation, dust growth and destruction, and dust-based observations of MCs.
© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016)
accretion, accretion discs - instabilities - turbulence - planets and satellites: formation - galaxies: formation - cosmology: theory
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