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A Toomre-like stability criterion for the clumpy and turbulent interstellar medium


Romeo, A B; Burkert, A; Agertz, O (2010). A Toomre-like stability criterion for the clumpy and turbulent interstellar medium. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 407(2):1223-1230.

Abstract

We explore the gravitational instability of clumpy and turbulent gas discs, taking into account the Larson-type scaling laws observed in giant molecular clouds (GMCs) and HI, as well as more general scaling relations. This degree of freedom is of special interest in view of the coming high-z interstellar medium surveys and is thus potentially important for understanding the dynamical effects of turbulence at all epochs of galaxy evolution. Our analysis shows that turbulence has a deep impact on the gravitational instability of the disc. It excites a rich variety of stability regimes, several of which have no classical counterpart. Among other diagnostics, we provide two useful tools for observers and simulators: (1) the stability map of turbulence, which illustrates our stability scenario and relates it to the phenomenology of interstellar turbulence: GMC/HI observations, simulations and models; (2) a Toomre-like stability criterion, , which applies to a large class of clumpy/turbulent discs. We make specific predictions about GMC and cold-HI turbulence and point out the implications of our analysis for high-z galaxy surveys.

We explore the gravitational instability of clumpy and turbulent gas discs, taking into account the Larson-type scaling laws observed in giant molecular clouds (GMCs) and HI, as well as more general scaling relations. This degree of freedom is of special interest in view of the coming high-z interstellar medium surveys and is thus potentially important for understanding the dynamical effects of turbulence at all epochs of galaxy evolution. Our analysis shows that turbulence has a deep impact on the gravitational instability of the disc. It excites a rich variety of stability regimes, several of which have no classical counterpart. Among other diagnostics, we provide two useful tools for observers and simulators: (1) the stability map of turbulence, which illustrates our stability scenario and relates it to the phenomenology of interstellar turbulence: GMC/HI observations, simulations and models; (2) a Toomre-like stability criterion, , which applies to a large class of clumpy/turbulent discs. We make specific predictions about GMC and cold-HI turbulence and point out the implications of our analysis for high-z galaxy surveys.

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24 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:September 2010
Deposited On:02 Mar 2011 14:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:34
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0035-8711
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16975.x
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/1001.4732
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-41880

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