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Title: A NEW APPROACH TO DETERMINE OPTICALLY THICK H{sub 2} COOLING AND ITS EFFECT ON PRIMORDIAL STAR FORMATION

We present a new method for estimating the H{sub 2} cooling rate in the optically thick regime in simulations of primordial star formation. Our new approach is based on the TreeCol algorithm, which projects matter distributions onto a spherical grid to create maps of column densities for each fluid element in the computational domain. We have improved this algorithm by using the relative gas velocities to weight the individual matter contributions with the relative spectral line overlaps, in order to properly account for the Doppler effect. We compare our new method to the widely used Sobolev approximation, which yields an estimate for the column density based on the local velocity gradient and the thermal velocity. This approach generally underestimates the photon escape probability because it neglects the density gradient and the actual shape of the cloud. We present a correction factor for the true line overlap in the Sobolev approximation and a new method based on local quantities, which fits the exact results reasonably well during the collapse of the cloud, with the error in the cooling rates always being less than 10%. Analytical fitting formulae fail at determining the photon escape probability after formation of the first protostar (errormore » of ∼40%) because they are based on the assumption of spherical symmetry and therefore break down once a protostellar accretion disk has formed. Our method yields lower temperatures and hence promotes fragmentation for densities above ∼10{sup 10} cm{sup –3} at a distance of ∼200 AU from the first protostar. Since the overall accretion rates are hardly affected by the cooling implementation, we expect Pop III stars to have lower masses in our simulations, compared to the results of previous simulations that used the Sobolev approximation.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Universität Heidelberg, Zentrum für Astronomie, Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Albert-Ueberle-Str. 2, D-69120 Heidelberg (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364402
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 799; 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; ACCRETION DISKS; ALGORITHMS; APPROXIMATIONS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CORRECTIONS; DENSITY; DOPPLER EFFECT; HYDRODYNAMICS; HYDROGEN; MASS; PHOTONS; PROBABILITY; SPHERICAL CONFIGURATION; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; UNIVERSE