Wednesday 26 Jun 2013Magnetic Fields in Star Formation

Terrence Tricco - Monash Centre for Astrophysics (MoCA), Australia

Physics, 4th floor 14:00-15:00

Magnetic fields are an enigmatic part of astrophysics that are often ignored, yet equally as often invoked as the cause of and solution to any particular problem at hand. I have been studying the ways magnetic fields affect star formation, focusing on three different regimes. The first is at the very large scale (relatively speaking) of molecular clouds, which are the sites where star formation occurs. How do magnetic fields affect the structure and therefore the rate and efficiency of star formation in these clouds? The second is during the gravitational collapse of a single core, where is it well known that magnetic fields are the cause of protostellar jets but the effect of these jets on the star formation process is not so well understood. The third regime is in the accretion disc around a protostar, where magnetic instabilities cause turbulence and believed to play a key role in moving angular momentum out of the central regions. This talk will discuss the results from our simulations of these problems, and along the way the numerical methods used and developed to study them.

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