Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - 3:15pm
Ralph Pudritz (McMaster University):
"Protostellar jets as collimated winds from accretion disks"
Abstract. Outflows and jets are ubiquitous in star formation and appear to accompany the formation of stars from brown dwarfs to O stars. The driving mechanism of protostellar jets has long been thought to involve centrifugally driven, magnetized winds from a central rotor - either the disk or the interface between a the star and the surrounding disk. The recent HST observations of the possible rotation of jets appear to confirm the predictions of disk wind theory - that jets originate from large sectors of an accretion disk and can effectively transport away disk angular momentum. The subject has advanced strongly as the result of numerical simulations. I review the basic theory, and computational advances of disk winds, and connect these with observational programs. The general role of jets in star and possibly also planet formation, will be discussed.