In this paper, we numerically study the behavior of the density power spectrum in turbulent thermally bistable flows. We analyze a set of five three-dimensional simulations where turbulence is randomly driven in Fourier space at a fixed wavenumber and with different Mach numbers M (with respect to the warm medium) ranging from 0.2 to 4.5. The density power spectrum becomes shallower as M increases and the same is true for the column density power spectrum. This trend is interpreted as a consequence of the simultaneous turbulent compressions, thermal instability generated density fluctuations, and the weakening of thermal pressure force in diffuse gas. This behavior is consistent with the fact that observationally determined spectra exhibit different slopes in different regions. The values of the spectral indices resulting from our simulations are consistent with observational values. We also explore the behavior of the velocity power spectrum, which becomes steeper as M increases. The spectral index goes from a value much shallower than the Kolmogorov one for M = 0.2 to a value steeper than the Kolmogorov one for M = 4.5.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- November 2010
- ISM: structure;
- methods: numerical;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 16 pages, 11 figures. Accepted for publication in ApJ