RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Friday, 02 March 2018, 14:00-14:20; Duffield Lecture Theatre

Elizabeth Parkinson

"The Role of Turbulence for the Origin of Stellar Masses"

Understanding the formation of stars and their mass distribution remains an important unsolved problem in astrophysics. It has been suggested that turbulence plays a key role in the process. This ASC project aimed to test the dependence of the stellar Initial Mass Function (IMF) on the power spectrum of the turbulence, as predicted by Hennebelle and Chabrier’s analytical derivation. Numerical hydrodynamical simulations were used to produce mass distributions at several star formation efficiencies. Initial data is incomplete, but the simulated slope of the IMF differed in potentially significant ways to the theoretical prediction. This talk outlines the project and its results, and possible explanations for these differences.