The physics of star formation

@article{Larson2003ThePO,
  title={The physics of star formation},
  author={Richard B. Larson},
  journal={Reports on Progress in Physics},
  year={2003},
  volume={66},
  pages={1651-1697}
}
  • R. Larson
  • Published 27 June 2003
  • Physics, Geology
  • Reports on Progress in Physics
Our current understanding of the physical processes of star formation is reviewed, with emphasis on processes occurring in molecular clouds like those observed nearby. The dense cores of these clouds are predicted to undergo gravitational collapse characterized by the runaway growth of a central density peak that evolves towards a singularity. As long as collapse can occur, rotation and magnetic fields do not change this qualitative behaviour. The result is that a very small embryonic star or… 

Insights from simulations of star formation

Although the basic physics of star formation is classical, numerical simulations have yielded essential insights into how stars form. They show that star formation is a highly nonuniform runaway

The Origin of Episodic Accretion Bursts in the Early Stages of Star Formation

We study numerically the evolution of rotating cloud cores, from the collapse of a magnetically supercritical core to the formation of a protostar and the development of a protostellar disk during

Theory of Star Formation

We review current understanding of star formation, outlining an overall theoretical framework and the observations that motivate it. A conception of star formation has emerged in which turbulence

Dynamical Models of Star Formation and the Initial Mass Function

Numerical simulations highlight that star formation is a dynamical process in which stars interact during their formation. Of particular interest is that accretion in a clustered environment is

The Birth of High-Mass Stars: Accretion and/or Mergers?

The observational consequences of the merger scenario for massive star formation are explored and contrasted with the gradual accumulation of mass by accretion. In high-density protostar clusters,

Evolutionary tracks of massive stars during formation

A model for massive stars is constructed by piecing together evolutionary algorithms for the protostellar structure, the environment, the inflow and the radiation feedback. We investigate specified

Angular momentum and the formation of stars and black holes

The formation of compact objects such as stars and black holes is strongly constrained by the requirement that nearly all of the initial angular momentum of the diffuse material from which they form

Star formation in transient molecular clouds

We present the results of a numerical simulation in which star formation proceeds from an initially unbound molecular cloud core. The turbulent motions, which dominate the dynamics, dissipate in

The impact of star cluster environments on planet formation

It is thought that most stars, including our Sun, form within clusters alongside many other stars. Planet formation and star formation occur simultaneously, and therefore the birth environment of

Different modes of star formation – II. Gas accretion phase of initially subcritical star-forming clouds

The accretion phase of star formation is investigated in magnetically-dominated clouds that have an initial subcritical mass-to-flux ratio. We employ nonideal magnetohydrodynamic simulations that
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 463 REFERENCES

The Formation of Stellar Clusters: Time-Varying Protostellar Accretion Rates

Identifying the processes that determine strength, duration, and variability of protostellar mass growth is a fundamental ingredient of any theory of star formation. I discuss protostellar mass

Accretion in stellar clusters and the collisional formation of massive stars

We present results from a numerical simulation of gas accretion in a cluster containing 1000 stars. The accretion forces the cluster to contract, leading to the development of a high-density core

The formation of a star cluster: predicting the properties of stars and brown dwarfs

We present results from the largest numerical simulation of star formation to resolve the fragmentation process down to the opacity limit. The simulation follows the collapse and fragmentation of a

Conditions for the Formation of Massive Stars through Nonspherical Accretion

Formation of massive stars through spherical accretion has been predicted to occur only in clouds which are nearly dust-free and can provide an extremely high accretion rate. It is shown that such

The Formation of Protostellar Disks. III. The Influence of Gravitationally Induced Angular Momentum Transport on Disk Structure and Appearance

Hydrodynamical two-dimensional calculations are presented for the evolution of collapsing, rotating protostars, including the effects of radiative acceleration and angular momentum transport. The

The role of tidal interactions in star formation

Nearly all of the initial angular momentum of the matter that goes into each forming star must somehow be removed or redistributed during the formation process. The possible transport mechanisms and

Disk Accretion and the Stellar Birthline

We present a simplified analysis of some effects of disk accretion on the early evolution of fully convective, low-mass pre-main-sequence stars. Our analysis builds on the previous seminal work of

Isolated Star Formation: From Cloud Formation to Core Collapse

The formation of stars is one of the most fundamental problems in astrophysics, as it underlies many other questions, on scales from the formation of galaxies to the formation of the solar system.

The hierarchical formation of a stellar cluster

Recent surveys of star-forming regions have shown that most stars, and probably all massive stars, are born in dense stellar clusters. The mechanism by which a molecular cloud fragments to form

Chemical evolution of star-forming regions.

Recent advances in the understanding of the chemical processes that occur during all stages of the formation of stars, from the collapse of molecular clouds to the assemblage of icy planetesimals in
...