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Enabling Star Formation Via Spontaneous Molecular Dipole Orientation In Icy Solids

Rosu-Finsen, A; Lasne, J; Cassidy, A; McCoustra, MRS; Field, D; (2016) Enabling Star Formation Via Spontaneous Molecular Dipole Orientation In Icy Solids. Astrophysical Journal , 832 (1) 10.3847/0004-637X/832/1/1. Green open access

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Abstract

It is shown here how new experimental data, for the electrical properties of solid CO, can be used to fill important gaps in our understanding of the evolution of prestellar cores. Dust grains with a mantle of CO lead to a reduction in the degree of ionization in these cores by a factor of between 5 and 6. The lifetimes for expulsion of magnetic fields from cores, a process generally necessary for gravitational collapse, are reduced from current estimates of several megayears, by a similar factor. This removes a major inconsistency, since lifetimes now tally with typical ages of prestellar cores of a few hundred thousand to 106 yr, derived from observations. With the reduced timescales, cores also escape disruption by Galactic supernova remnants. Our results provide a natural mechanism for the generation of so-called magnetically supercritical cores, in which the magnetic field alone cannot prevent gravitational collapse. In addition, we find a minimum value for the density of prestellar cores of ≥(1.1 ± 0.1) × 104 H2 cm−3, in agreement with observations.

Type: Article
Title: Enabling Star Formation Via Spontaneous Molecular Dipole Orientation In Icy Solids
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/832/1/1
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/0004-637X/832/1/1
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Ism: Clouds, Magnetic Fields, Methods: Laboratory: Solid State, Molecular Processes, Stars: Formation, Prestellar Cores, Magnetic-Fields, Interstellar Grains, Formation Rates, Massive Stars, Dark Clouds, Depletion, Herschel, Fragmentation, Temperature
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10025971
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