skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: On the role of disks in the formation of stellar systems: A numerical parameter study of rapid accretion

Abstract

We study rapidly accreting, gravitationally unstable disks with a series of idealized global, numerical experiments using the code ORION. Our numerical parameter study focuses on protostellar disks, showing that one can predict disk behavior and the multiplicity of the accreting star system as a function of two dimensionless parameters which compare the infall rate to the disk sound speed and orbital period. Although gravitational instabilities become strong, we find that fragmentation into binary or multiple systems occurs only when material falls in several times more rapidly than the canonical isothermal limit. The disk-to-star accretion rate is proportional to the infall rate and governed by gravitational torques generated by low-m spiral modes. Furthermore, we also confirm the existence of a maximum stable disk mass: disks that exceed ~50% of the total system mass are subject to fragmentation and the subsequent formation of binary companions.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Toronto, Toronto, ON (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1253692
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-421115
Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 708; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; accretion; accretion disks; binaries: general; stars: formation; stars: low-mass; brown dwarfs

Citation Formats

Kratter, Kaitlin M., Matzner, Christopher D., Krumholz, Mark R., and Klein, Richard I. On the role of disks in the formation of stellar systems: A numerical parameter study of rapid accretion. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1585.
Kratter, Kaitlin M., Matzner, Christopher D., Krumholz, Mark R., & Klein, Richard I. On the role of disks in the formation of stellar systems: A numerical parameter study of rapid accretion. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1585.
Kratter, Kaitlin M., Matzner, Christopher D., Krumholz, Mark R., and Klein, Richard I. Wed . "On the role of disks in the formation of stellar systems: A numerical parameter study of rapid accretion". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1585. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1253692.
@article{osti_1253692,
title = {On the role of disks in the formation of stellar systems: A numerical parameter study of rapid accretion},
author = {Kratter, Kaitlin M. and Matzner, Christopher D. and Krumholz, Mark R. and Klein, Richard I.},
abstractNote = {We study rapidly accreting, gravitationally unstable disks with a series of idealized global, numerical experiments using the code ORION. Our numerical parameter study focuses on protostellar disks, showing that one can predict disk behavior and the multiplicity of the accreting star system as a function of two dimensionless parameters which compare the infall rate to the disk sound speed and orbital period. Although gravitational instabilities become strong, we find that fragmentation into binary or multiple systems occurs only when material falls in several times more rapidly than the canonical isothermal limit. The disk-to-star accretion rate is proportional to the infall rate and governed by gravitational torques generated by low-m spiral modes. Furthermore, we also confirm the existence of a maximum stable disk mass: disks that exceed ~50% of the total system mass are subject to fragmentation and the subsequent formation of binary companions.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1585},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 708,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 122 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Eccentric gravitational instabilities in nearly Keplerian disks
journal, December 1989

  • Adams, Fred C.; Ruden, Steven P.; Shu, Frank H.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 347
  • DOI: 10.1086/168187

Massive Star Formation via High Accretion Rates and Early Disk‐driven Outflows
journal, May 2007

  • Banerjee, Robi; Pudritz, Ralph E.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 660, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/512010

Accretion during binary star formation -- II. Gaseous accretion and disc formation
journal, February 1997

  • Bate, M. R.; Bonnell, I. A.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 285, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/285.1.33

Infall of gas as the formation mechanism of stars up to 20 times more massive than the Sun
journal, September 2006

  • Beltrán, Maria T.; Cesaroni, Riccardo; Codella, Claudio
  • Nature, Vol. 443, Issue 7110
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature05074

Criteria for fragmentation in a collapsing rotating cloud
journal, November 1980

  • Bodenheimer, P.; Tohline, J. E.; Black, D. C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 242
  • DOI: 10.1086/158457

The Thermal Regulation of Gravitational Instabilities in Protoplanetary Disks. III. Simulations with Radiative Cooling and Realistic Opacities
journal, November 2006

  • Boley, Aaron C.; Mejia, Annie C.; Durisen, Richard H.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 651, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/507478

Massive circumbinary discs and the formation of multiple systems
journal, July 1994

  • Bonnell, I. A.; Bate, M. R.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 269, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/269.1.L45

The formation of close binary systems
journal, December 1994

  • Bonnell, I. A.; Bate, M. R.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 271, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/271.4.999

Boyle's Law and Gravitational Instability
journal, June 1956


The Jeans Condition and Collapsing Molecular Cloud Cores: Filaments or Binaries?
journal, January 2000

  • Boss, Alan P.; Fisher, Robert T.; Klein, Richard I.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 528, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/308160

The Thermal Regulation of Gravitational Instabilities in Protoplanetary Disks. IV. Simulations with Envelope Irradiation
journal, February 2008

  • Cai, Kai; Durisen, Richard H.; Boley, Aaron C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 673, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/524101

The Structure and Emission of Accretion Disks Irradiated by Infalling Envelopes
journal, January 1997

  • D'Alessio, Paola; Calvet, Nuria; Hartmann, Lee
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 474, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/303433

Gravitational Collapse of an Isothermal Sphere
journal, October 1993

  • Foster, Prudence N.; Chevalier, Roger A.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 416
  • DOI: 10.1086/173236

Global MHD simulations of stratified and turbulent protoplanetary discs: I. Model properties
journal, September 2006


Nonlinear Outcome of Gravitational Instability in Cooling, Gaseous Disks
journal, May 2001

  • Gammie, Charles F.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 553, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/320631

II. Spiral Arms as Sheared Gravitational Instabilities
journal, August 1965

  • Goldreich, P.; Lynden-Bell, D.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 130, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/130.2.125

Dense cores in dark clouds. VIII - Velocity gradients
journal, April 1993

  • Goodman, A. A.; Benson, P. J.; Fuller, G. A.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 406
  • DOI: 10.1086/172465

Evolution of protoplanetary disks: constraints from DM Tauri and GM Aurigae
journal, October 2005


Self-similar solutions and the stability of collapsing isothermal filaments
journal, March 1992

  • Inutsuka, Shu-Ichiro; Miyama, Shoken M.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 388
  • DOI: 10.1086/171162

Star formation with 3-D adaptive mesh refinement: the collapse and fragmentation of molecular clouds
journal, September 1999


Fragmentation of massive protostellar discs
journal, November 2006


Global Models for the Evolution of Embedded, Accreting Protostellar Disks
journal, July 2008

  • Kratter, Kaitlin M.; Matzner, Christopher D.; Krumholz, Mark R.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 681, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/587543

Radiation Feedback and Fragmentation in Massive Protostellar Cores
journal, March 2006

  • Krumholz, Mark R.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 641, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/503771

Radiation‐Hydrodynamic Simulations of Collapse and Fragmentation in Massive Protostellar Cores
journal, February 2007

  • Krumholz, Mark R.; Klein, Richard I.; McKee, Christopher F.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 656, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/510664

The Formation of Massive Star Systems by Accretion
journal, February 2009


Embedding Lagrangian Sink Particles in Eulerian Grids
journal, August 2004

  • Krumholz, Mark R.; McKee, Christopher F.; Klein, Richard I.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 611, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/421935

The Collapse of a Rotating Cloud
journal, March 1972


Nonaxisymmetric evolution in protostellar disks
journal, November 1994

  • Laughlin, Gregory; Bodenheimer, Peter
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 436
  • DOI: 10.1086/174909

Nonlinear Generation of One-armed Spirals in Self-gravitating Disks
journal, April 1996

  • Laughlin, Gregory; Korchagin, Vladimir
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 460
  • DOI: 10.1086/177015

Spiral Mode Saturation in Self‐gravitating Disks
journal, March 1997

  • Laughlin, Gregory; Korchagin, Vladimir; Adams, Fred C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 477, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/303682

The Dynamics of Heavy Gaseous Disks
journal, September 1998

  • Laughlin, Gregory; Korchagin, Vladimir; Adams, Fred C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 504, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/306117

The Effect of Gravitational Instabilities on Protostellar Disks
journal, January 1996

  • Laughlin, Gregory; Rozyczka, Michal
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 456
  • DOI: 10.1086/176648

A viscosity prescription for a self-gravitating accretion disc⋆
journal, April 1987

  • Lin, D. N. C.; Pringle, J. E.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 225, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/225.3.607

Timescales for planetary accretion and the structure of the protoplanetary disk
journal, February 1987


The role of the energy equation in the fragmentation of protostellar discs during stellar encounters
journal, January 2007


Testing the locality of transport in self-gravitating accretion discs - II. The massive disc case
journal, April 2005


Fragmentation of a Molecular Cloud Core versus Fragmentation of the Massive Protoplanetary Disk in the Main Accretion Phase
journal, October 2003

  • Matsumoto, Tomoaki; Hanawa, Tomoyuki
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 595, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/377367

Protostellar Disks: Formation, Fragmentation, and the Brown Dwarf Desert
journal, August 2005

  • Matzner, Christopher D.; Levin, Yuri
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 628, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/430813

Efficiencies of Low‐Mass Star and Star Cluster Formation
journal, December 2000

  • Matzner, Christopher D.; McKee, Christopher F.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 545, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/317785

Criteria for collapse and fragmentation of rotating, isothermal clouds
journal, April 1984

  • Miyama, S. M.; Hayashi, C.; Narita, S.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 279
  • DOI: 10.1086/161926

Density structure and star formation in dense cores with thermal and nonthermal motions
journal, September 1992

  • Myers, P. C.; Fuller, G. A.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 396
  • DOI: 10.1086/171744

Numerical requirements for simulations of self-gravitating and non-self-gravitating discs
journal, November 2006


Driven and Decaying Turbulence Simulations of Low‐Mass Star Formation: From Clumps to Cores to Protostars
journal, October 2008

  • Offner, Stella S. R.; Klein, Richard I.; McKee, Christopher F.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 686, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/590238

The Effects of Radiative Transfer on Low-Mass star Formation
journal, August 2009

  • Offner, Stella S. R.; Klein, Richard I.; McKee, Christopher F.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 703, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/703/1/131

Planet Migration and Gap Formation by Tidally Induced Shocks
journal, June 2002

  • Rafikov, R. R.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 572, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/340228

Opacity-Limited Hierarchical Fragmentation and the Masses of Protostars
journal, September 1976


Investigating fragmentation conditions in self-gravitating accretion discs
journal, November 2005

  • Rice, W. K. M.; Lodato, G.; Armitage, P. J.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 364, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-3933.2005.00105.x

Global Modeling of Spur Formation in Spiral Galaxies
journal, August 2006

  • Shetty, Rahul; Ostriker, Eve C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 647, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/505594

Self-similar collapse of isothermal spheres and star formation
journal, June 1977


Sling amplification and eccentric gravitational instabilities in gaseous disks
journal, August 1990

  • Shu, Frank H.; Tremaine, Scott; Adams, Fred C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 358
  • DOI: 10.1086/169003

The collapse to equilibrium of rotating, adiabatic spheroids. I - Protostars
journal, September 1981

  • Tohline, J. E.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 248
  • DOI: 10.1086/159196

On the gravitational stability of a disk of stars
journal, May 1964


The Jeans Condition: A New Constraint on Spatial Resolution in Simulations of Isothermal Self-gravitational Hydrodynamics
journal, November 1997

  • Truelove, J. Kelly; Klein, Richard I.; McKee, Christopher F.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 489, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/310975

Self‐gravitational Hydrodynamics with Three‐dimensional Adaptive Mesh Refinement: Methodology and Applications to Molecular Cloud Collapse and Fragmentation
journal, March 1998

  • Truelove, J. Kelly; Klein, Richard I.; McKee, Christopher F.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 495, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/305329

Criteria for Fragmentation of Rotating Isothermal Clouds. I. Semianalytic Approach
journal, November 1999

  • Tsuribe, Toru; Inutsuka, Shu‐ichiro
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 526, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/307983

Criteria for Fragmentation of Rotating Isothermal Clouds Revisited
journal, October 1999

  • Tsuribe, Toru; Inutsuka, Shu-ichiro
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 523, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/312267

Self-regulated gravitational accretion in protostellar discs: Protostellar disc accretion
journal, September 2007


Mass Accretion Rates in Self-Regulated Disks of T Tauri Stars
journal, March 2008

  • Vorobyov, E. I.; Basu, Shantanu
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 676, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/587514

Protostellar discs formed from rigidly rotating cores
journal, November 2009


A Survey for Inward Motions in the Dense Gas around Young Stellar Clusters
journal, January 1999

  • Williams, Jonathan P.; Myers, Philip C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 511, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/306657

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Role of environment and gas temperature in the formation of multiple protostellar systems: molecular tracers
    journal, November 2018


    Role of environment and gas temperature in the formation of multiple protostellar systems: molecular tracers
    journal, November 2018


    Formation of the first stars
    journal, October 2013


    Evolution of protostellar outflow around low-mass protostar
    journal, March 2013

    • Machida, Masahiro N.; Hosokawa, Takashi
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 431, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt291

    Binary Interaction Dominates the Evolution of Massive Stars
    journal, July 2012