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Title:
On the virial theorem for turbulent molecular clouds
Authors:
McKee, Christopher F.; Zweibel, Ellen G.
Affiliation:
AA(California Univ., Berkeley), AB(Colorado Univ., Boulder)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 399, no. 2, p. 551-562. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
11/1992
Category:
Astrophysics
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Interstellar Matter, Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence, Molecular Clouds, Virial Theorem, Computational Astrophysics, Interstellar Magnetic Fields
DOI:
10.1086/171946
Bibliographic Code:
1992ApJ...399..551M

Abstract

An Eulerian, rather than Lagrangian, form of the virial theorem is derived for a turbulent, magnetized cloud embedded in a steady, turbulent, low-density intercloud medium. The role of turbulent pressure in cloud confinement is clarified, and it is shown that, in the absence of a magnetic field, a cloud can be at a somewhat lower pressure than the intercloud medium. Simple forms for the magnetic term in the virial equation are obtained. Radiation pressure is considered; its effects are relatively small under average conditions in the interstellar medium. Under typical conditions, external pressure and magnetic fields are shown to have a relatively small effect on virial estimates of the mass of self-gravitating clouds.

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