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6 octobre 2017 Tout le mois

Paolo Padoan (Barcelona) — Supersonic Turbulence and Star Formation

Vendredi 6 octobre 2017 11:00-12:00 - Amphi

Supersonic turbulence and star formation are intimately linked. On the one hand, the ubiquity of supersonic turbulence in the cold interstellar medium can be explained as the consequence of star formation, because massive stars explode as supernovae, releasing enough energy to sustain the turbulence. On the other hand, star formation can be viewed as the consequence of supersonic turbulence, because protostellar cores originate from random density enhancements caused by shocks in the turbulent flow. This direct link between turbulence and star formation is the fundamental reason why the star formation process may self-regulate at large scales ; it is also the fundamental reason for the apparent universality of the star formation rate and of the stellar mass distribution. Having unveiled the statistical properties of supersonic turbulence, primarily through numerical studies, we are now able to derive a statical theory of star formation where both the star formation rate and the initial mass function of stars can be predicted as a function of the fundamental non-dimensional parameters of star-forming regions, such the ratios between kinetic, gravitational, magnetic and thermal energies.

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