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Title: Formation and feedback processes of massive stars in clusters
Author: Ali, Ahmad
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 3970
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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Many uncertainties remain as to how the most massive stars are formed and how they interact with their environment via radiative and mechanical processes. This feedback may affect future generations of star formation -- triggering it by compressing gas, or hindering it by dispersing reservoirs. These scenarios can be simulated by solving the equations of hydrodynamics and radiative transfer. However, the latter is usually simplified due to its computational expense, despite its importance in determining the dynamics. In this thesis, I describe how I increased the efficiency of the radiation hydrodynamics code, TORUS, which uses a Monte Carlo approach to solving the radiative transfer. Tens of millions of energy packets are propagated through a domain split over hundreds of processors running in parallel with Message Passing Interface (MPI). By re-examining and improving communication algorithms, I lowered the radiation run time by about a factor of ten, making it tractable to run three-dimensional simulations of massive star feedback in clusters. This includes both the stellar and diffuse radiation fields, with multiple atomic species and silicate dust grains. The full ionization states and temperatures can then be fed in to produce self-consistent synthetic observations. I applied this to clouds of 1000 and 10,000 solar masses with surface density 0.01 g/cm^2, containing a 34 solar mass star, with photoionization and radiation pressure feedback. Photoionization is efficient at shaping and dispersing clouds. The expanding ionization front forms dense, spherical knots with pillars pointing away from the emitting star. These resemble the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, and the proplyds observed in the Orion Nebula. In the lower-mass model, almost all material is removed from the (15.5 pc)^3 grid within 1.6 Myr; the higher mass cloud is somewhat more resistant, with 25 per cent remaining inside (32.3 pc)^3 after 4.3 Myr. Radiation pressure has a negligible effect, but will be more important for denser clouds or higher luminosities.
Supervisor: Harries, Tim Sponsor: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: physics ; astronomy ; star formation ; massive stars ; hydrodynamics ; radiative transfer