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Title: Magnetic fields and galactic star formation rates

The regulation of galactic-scale star formation rates (SFRs) is a basic problem for theories of galaxy formation and evolution: which processes are responsible for making observed star formation rates so inefficient compared to maximal rates of gas content divided by dynamical timescale? Here we study the effect of magnetic fields of different strengths on the evolution of giant molecular clouds (GMCs) within a kiloparsec patch of a disk galaxy and resolving scales down to ≃0.5 pc. Including an empirically motivated prescription for star formation from dense gas (n{sub H}>10{sup 5} cm{sup −3}) at an efficiency of 2% per local free-fall time, we derive the amount of suppression of star formation by magnetic fields compared to the nonmagnetized case. We find GMC fragmentation, dense clump formation, and SFR can be significantly affected by the inclusion of magnetic fields, especially in our strongest investigated B-field case of 80 μG. However, our chosen kiloparsec-scale region, extracted from a global galaxy simulation, happens to contain a starbursting cloud complex that is only modestly affected by these magnetic fields and likely requires internal star formation feedback to regulate its SFR.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT (United Kingdom)
  2. Departments of Astronomy and Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)
  3. Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364186
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 800; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CLOUDS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; GALACTIC EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; STAR CLUSTERS; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS