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Theory of protostellar objects

  • Frank H. Shu
1. Protostellar Objects
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 255)

Abstract

Many problems in the theory of star formation are amenable to a complementary attack in which the analytical approach is used to reduce the governing equations to a form amenable to efficient numerical solution. This strategy has proven very useful in helping to resolve several astrophysical puzzles which arise because the bulk of star formation today is observed to occur, with relatively low efficiency, in giant molecular cloud complexes. How does a cloud of 105-106M⊙) know how to form stars of mass ≈ 1 M⊙)? How does the interstellar medium know, to one or two orders of magnitude, that roughly (hc/Gm H 2 3/2 hydrogen atoms of mass mH are needed to yield thermonuclear fusion in a self-gravitating ball of gas? Why have radio astronomers not detected unambiguous evidence for the collapse motions attendant to star formation? Why has a true protostar, the “holy grail” of infrared astronomy, been so hard to find? Why do young stellar objects almost universally exhibit powerful outflows? Why is the geometry for these outflows often bipolar? Why do T Tauri stars have such active chromospheres? In this review we suggest that these puzzles all have a related resolution, in the nature of how gravitational collapse is initiated and terminated in the slowly rotating cores of molecular clouds.

Keywords

Star Formation Disk Accretion Molecular Cloud Stellar Wind Ambipolar Diffusion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank H. Shu
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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