Radiation pressure in super star cluster formation

Benny Tsang (UT Austin) - October 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm

The physics of star formation at its extreme - in the nuclei of the largest and densest star clusters - has for decades eluded scrutiny. Spectroscopy has been scarce, whereas theoretical work based on idealized geometries claim the determining role of radiation pressure. With a hybrid Monte Carlo radiation transport scheme, I will report a radiation hydrodynamical simulation that follow the formation of a super star cluster with mass ~10^6 Msun from turbulent clouds. Radiation pressure is ineffective in limiting the gas supply for star formation due to a radiation-matter anti-correlation in the supersonically turbulent, gravitationally collapsing medium. I will also describe the potential of forming a very massive star in the cluster core via dynamical core collapse and stellar merging. The very massive star may avoid catastrophic mass loss by continuing to accrete dense gas gravitationally confined by the deep potential of the cluster.

The seminar will be held in 131A Campbell Hall.

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