ASIAA Summer Students Program
ASIAA Summer Student Program 2021
July 1 - August 31

2021 Project Description

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Chaos in Interstellar Shocks

Numerical Astrophysics
Star Forming Regions
Theoretical Astrophysics


Pin-Gao Gu
Find out more about supervisors on ASIAA website

Task Description and Goals

While a molecular cloud is the birthplace of stars, its gas containing the neutrals and ions exhibit highly supersonic turbulence. As a natural consequence, interstellar shocks are generated by the turbulent flows. These shocks are not necessarily dynamically stable structures. Gu & Chen (2020) performed an analytical study and found that a fluid instability, known as the drag instability, can occur within an interstellar shock due to the drift motion between the neutrals and ions. The analysis suggests that the density enhancement induced by the drag instability dominates over the magnetic field and velocity enhancement for the dynamical growth of the ?haotic??mode, possibly leading to fragmentation within a shock. For more introduction, please read the last three paragraphs of the short article on the GASE website. With the published analytic solutions as guidance, this project aims to identify this chaotic phenomenon in interstellar shocks from numerical simulations.

Required Background

Basic knowledge of physics and mathematics, Experience in computer programming

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