The formation of the first stars occurred in an extremely metal-poor environment in which magnetic fields are believed to have been dynamically unimportant. Recent cosmological simulations (Abel et al. 2000) have begun to reach mass scales at which the first molecular clouds can be identified, but thus far simulation has not been able to determine the initial mass function of the resulting stellar population. The fragmentation of these clouds depends upon both radiative cooling instabilities in the primordial gas and the properties of turbulence generated by the Jeans instability itself. To investigate the latter question, we present high-resolution 3D hydrodynamical simulations of compressible, gravitationally unstable media performed using the adaptive-mesh code Flash (Fryxell et al. 2000). We study both turbulence generated by the nonlinear phase of the Jeans instability and the gravitational stability of a stirred, turbulent medium. We discuss the evolution of these cases in terms of the structure functions of the medium, comparing our results to recent calculations by Klessen et al. (2000). This work is supported by the U. S. Department of Energy under Contract No. B341495 to the Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes at the University of Chicago.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2000