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Astrophysics Colloquium

Star Formation through the Chemical Lens
Presented by Konstantinos Tassis
University of Crete

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
12:00 noon in 169-336

Abstract
Observations of star-forming sites rely heavily on the use of molecular tracers. However, the abundance of these tracers is not constant: it is a result of a complex network of chemical reactions, and it depends on the age, density, and dynamical history of the star-forming site. This chemical lens can introduce distortions in our observational understanding of star formation, but it also provides a toolbox for revealing a variety of physical properties of star forming sites. In this talk, I will use a suite of chemodynamical models to discuss a variety of such effects, including: a) distorting effects of chemistry on frequently used observables, such as the mass-to-magnetic-flux ratio and the relative velocities of neutral/ion pairs to study ambipolar diffusion; b) new observables with maximal potential for discrimination between dynamical models of star forming clouds; c) a new method for determining the 3-dimensional shape of molecular cloud cores using the 2-d, plane-of-the-sky, morphology of molecular tracers.

JPL Contact: Harold Yorke (4-5515)


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