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Title: MODELING THE POLLUTION OF PRISTINE GAS IN THE EARLY UNIVERSE

We conduct a comprehensive theoretical and numerical investigation of the pollution of pristine gas in turbulent flows, designed to provide useful new tools for modeling the evolution of the first generation of stars. The properties of such Population III (Pop III) stars are thought to be very different than those of later stellar generations, because cooling is dramatically different in gas with a metallicity below a critical value Z{sub c}, which lies between ∼10{sup –6} and ∼10{sup –3} Z{sub ☉}. The critical value is much smaller than the typical overall average metallicity, , and therefore the mixing efficiency of the pristine gas in the interstellar medium plays a crucial role in determining the transition from Pop III to normal star formation. The small critical value, Z{sub c}, corresponds to the far left tail of the probability distribution function (PDF) of the metal abundance. Based on closure models for the PDF formulation of turbulent mixing, we derive evolution equations for the fraction of gas, P, lying below Z{sub c}, in statistically homogeneous compressible turbulence. Our simulation data show that the evolution of the pristine fraction P can be well approximated by a generalized 'self-convolution' model, which predicts that P-dot = -more » (n/τ{sub con}) P (1-P{sup 1/n}), where n is a measure of the locality of the mixing or PDF convolution events and the convolution timescale τ{sub con} is determined by the rate at which turbulence stretches the pollutants. Carrying out a suite of numerical simulations with turbulent Mach numbers ranging from M = 0.9 to 6.2, we are able to provide accurate fits to n and τ{sub con} as a function of M, Z{sub c}/(Z), and the length scale, L{sub p}, at which pollutants are added to the flow. For pristine fractions above P = 0.9, mixing occurs only in the regions surrounding blobs of pollutants, such that n = 1. For smaller values of P, n is larger as the mixing process becomes more global. We show how these results can be used to construct one-zone models for the evolution of Pop III stars in a single high-redshift galaxy, as well as subgrid models for tracking the evolution of the first stars in large cosmological numerical simulations.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  2. School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287-1494 (United States)
  3. Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270851
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 775; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; APPROXIMATIONS; ASTROPHYSICS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; COSMOLOGY; DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS; GALACTIC EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; METALS; RED SHIFT; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; TURBULENCE; TURBULENT FLOW; UNIVERSE