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Title: The structure and statistics of interstellar turbulence

Abstract

We explore the structure and statistics of multiphase, magnetized ISM turbulence in the local Milky Way by means of driven periodic box numerical MHD simulations. Using the higher order-accurate piecewise-parabolic method on a local stencil (PPML), we carry out a small parameter survey varying the mean magnetic field strength and density while fixing the rms velocity to observed values. We quantify numerous characteristics of the transient and steady-state turbulence, including its thermodynamics and phase structure, kinetic and magnetic energy power spectra, structure functions, and distribution functions of density, column density, pressure, and magnetic field strength. The simulations reproduce many observables of the local ISM, including molecular clouds, such as the ratio of turbulent to mean magnetic field at 100 pc scale, the mass and volume fractions of thermally stable Hi, the lognormal distribution of column densities, the mass-weighted distribution of thermal pressure, and the linewidth-size relationship for molecular clouds. Our models predict the shape of magnetic field probability density functions (PDFs), which are strongly non-Gaussian, and the relative alignment of magnetic field and density structures. Finally, our models show how the observed low rates of star formation per free-fall time are controlled by the multiphase thermodynamics and large-scale turbulence.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States)
  2. Keldysh Inst. of applied Mathematics, Moscow (Russia)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1565602
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
New Journal of Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1367-2630
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; MHDturbulence; interstellar turbulence; interstellar clouds; star formation

Citation Formats

Kritsuk, A. G., Ustyugov, S. D., and Norman, M. L. The structure and statistics of interstellar turbulence. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aa7156.
Kritsuk, A. G., Ustyugov, S. D., & Norman, M. L. The structure and statistics of interstellar turbulence. United States. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aa7156.
Kritsuk, A. G., Ustyugov, S. D., and Norman, M. L. Thu . "The structure and statistics of interstellar turbulence". United States. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aa7156. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1565602.
@article{osti_1565602,
title = {The structure and statistics of interstellar turbulence},
author = {Kritsuk, A. G. and Ustyugov, S. D. and Norman, M. L.},
abstractNote = {We explore the structure and statistics of multiphase, magnetized ISM turbulence in the local Milky Way by means of driven periodic box numerical MHD simulations. Using the higher order-accurate piecewise-parabolic method on a local stencil (PPML), we carry out a small parameter survey varying the mean magnetic field strength and density while fixing the rms velocity to observed values. We quantify numerous characteristics of the transient and steady-state turbulence, including its thermodynamics and phase structure, kinetic and magnetic energy power spectra, structure functions, and distribution functions of density, column density, pressure, and magnetic field strength. The simulations reproduce many observables of the local ISM, including molecular clouds, such as the ratio of turbulent to mean magnetic field at 100 pc scale, the mass and volume fractions of thermally stable Hi, the lognormal distribution of column densities, the mass-weighted distribution of thermal pressure, and the linewidth-size relationship for molecular clouds. Our models predict the shape of magnetic field probability density functions (PDFs), which are strongly non-Gaussian, and the relative alignment of magnetic field and density structures. Finally, our models show how the observed low rates of star formation per free-fall time are controlled by the multiphase thermodynamics and large-scale turbulence.},
doi = {10.1088/1367-2630/aa7156},
journal = {New Journal of Physics},
number = 6,
volume = 19,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {6}
}

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