Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The formation of primordial protostars
by Turk, Matthew J., Ph.D., Stanford University, 2009, 147; 3364521
Abstract (Summary)

The formation of Population III stars is a well-posed problem, in that the initial conditions are specified by the cosmological standard model and well probed by observations of the cosmic microwave background radiation, galaxy surveys and many other means. Using the adaptive mesh refinement code Enzo, we follow the collapse of several 106 solar mass halos from cosmological initial conditions through protostellar densities, achieving unprecedented resolution of sub-solar radius with over 30 levels of refinement. We developed a high density chemistry and radiation model that includes the effects of chemical heating and cooling, collision induced emission as well as optical depth effects of the molecular line and continuum transfer. Our calculations are able to follow the gas from cosmological scales to the AU scales when the protostar becomes optically thick to radiation and is able to contract only adiabatically. In this thesis, we discuss the variations of accretion rates from both the chemistry of molecular hydrogen and environmental factors, and we present the first simulation that has found the collapsing baryonic material to fragment and form a binary star system. Finally, we present a new toolkit for analysis and visualization of adaptive mesh refinement simulations, suited for both large-scale analysis of large datasets as well as interactive exploration of small datasets.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Abel, Tom
School: Stanford University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Astronomy
Keywords: Adaptive mesh refinement, Population III stars, Protostars, Star formation
Publication Number: 3364521
ISBN: 978-1-109-23859-4
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