Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - 3:15pm
Simon Glover (ITA):
"Simulating the chemistry and dynamics of molecular clouds"
Abstract. In order to properly compare the predictions of numerical simulations of molecular clouds with the wealth of molecular line data available for real clouds, we need to know not only the density and velocity structure of our model clouds, but also their temperature distribution and their chemical make-up. Attempts have been made to determine this by post-processing the results of isothermal calculations. However, there is growing evidence that this is inadequate. The reason for this is that chemistry, thermal processes and dynamics are all tightly coupled in real clouds: the thermal evolution of a cloud depends on its chemical make-up, the chemical evolution depends on the hydrodynamics, and the hydrodynamics depends on the temperature evolution. In this talk, I will present results from 3D hydrodynamical simulations of model molecular clouds that aim to treat all of these processes in a properly coupled fashion, and discuss what they can teach us about the nature of real molecular clouds.