The Stellar Initial Mass Function from Simulations of Selfgravitating Supersonic Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence
|Research Area||Properties of Compressible Interstellar Turbulence and Star Formation|
|Principal Investigator(s)||Christoph Federrath|
There is no doubt about the presence of supersonic random motions in star forming molecular clouds. These motions are associated with a compressible turbulent cascade. Supersonic turbulence plays a crucial role in structuring molecular clouds, forming the dense seeds from which stars are born. Selfgravity must be the physical mechanism for the final transition of dense clumps to gravitationally bound protostellar cores. Magnetic fields, ubiquitously observed in nearby molecular clouds, may also play an important role in this process. To advance on these issues, we will use selfconsistent 3dimensional hydrodynamic and magnetohydrodynamic simulations of compressively driven supersonic turbulence, including selfgravity to investigate the formation of dense clumps and bound cores in an environment typical for interstellar gas clouds. We want to extend the knowledge and experience of the processes of turbulent fragmentation to the mechanisms of turbulent gravitational fragmentation, while allowing magnetic fields to modify the physics of molecular clouds. The final goal of our simulations is the correct prediction of the distribution of stellar masses, which must be accounted for in any successful model of star formation.