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Dynamics of fronts in thermally bistable fluids
Elphick, Christian; Regev, Oded; Shaviv, Nir
AA(Universidad Tecnica, Valparaiso, Chile), AB(Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa), AC(Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 392, no. 1, June 10, 1992, p. 106-117. Research supported by Technion VPR - New York Metropolitan Research Fund and Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Cooling Flows (Astrophysics), Interstellar Matter, Thermal Stability, Liapunov Functions, Molecular Clouds, Thermal Conductivity, Thermal Instability, Two Phase Flow
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The study examines fronts between different thermal phases of a fluid, when the cooling function allows two thermally stable phases around an unstable one (bistability). For a 1D case, the front dynamics are investigated by introducing an appropriate Liapunov functional. The properties of various types of fronts separating the different thermal phases of the fluid are discussed. Interaction between fronts and its effect on front motion is found using an approximation method. An ensemble of stationary fronts is employed to model a quasi-stationary cloud medium. Equations of motion for fronts separating the hot and cold stable phases are derived. It is found, for a general cooling function, that the medium exhibits an inverse cascade, with increasingly larger clouds predominating. The lifetime of a particular stage is exponentially dependent on the size of the structures, and thus large clouds can persist for a very long time.

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