Date of Award
Master of Science (MSc)
Physics and Astronomy
The effect of stellar feedback on the interstellar medium is investigated using numerical simulation. In particular, the roles of supernova feedback and ionization feedback on the star formation rate and structure of the interstellar medium are compared. We use Enzo, an adaptive mesh code, and employ the MUSCL-Hancock hydrodynamics scheme to run simulations of a section of a stratified galactic disk. A turbulent velocity field is imposed in the central region of the disk and self-gravity is applied. Star clusters are formed when density and temperature conditions are met, which, in turn, provide ionization and supernova feedback into the interstellar medium. Simulations were run with and without supernova and ionization feedback and the runs are compared. Ionization feedback is found to dominate over supernova feedback in regulating star formation rates. With no feedback, all the gas is converted to stars by 200 Myr. When supernova feedback is added, 98% of the gas is used to create stars by 300 Myr. With ionization feedback instead, at 1 Gyr into the run, only 30% of the gas is in stars. Even with supernova feedback added to ionization feedback, the gas converted to stars is just 29% at 1 Gyr. Very strong supernovae take this fraction down to 25%. The star formation rates in the runs with supernova feedback are consistent with the low end of the Kennicutt-Schmidt relation, while the runs without ionization feedback have star formation rates that are an order of magnitude larger. Gas phase masses and volumes produced in the ionization runs are broadly consistent with observations.
Gatopoulos, Chris, "Stellar Feedback in a Vertically-Stratified ISM" (2013). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7608.
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