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On the hydrodynamic interaction of shock waves with interstellar clouds. 1: Nonradiative shocks in small clouds
Klein, Richard I.; McKee, Christopher F.; Colella, Philip
AA(University of California, Berkeley, CA, US), AB(University of California, Berkeley, CA, US), AC(University of California, Berkeley, CA, US)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 420, no. 1, p. 213-236 (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Interstellar Matter, Molecular Clouds, Shock Wave Interaction, Supernova Remnants, Computational Grids, Gas Dynamics, Hydrodynamics, Mach Number, Wave Propagation
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The interstellar medium (ISM) is inhomogeneous, with clouds of various temperatures and densities embedded in a tenuous intercloud medium. Shocks propagating through the ISM can ablate or destroy the clouds, at the same time significantly altering the properties of the intercloud medium. This paper presents a comprehensive numerical study of the simplest case of the interaction between a shock wave and a spherical cloud, in which the shock far from the cloud is steady and planar, and in which radiative losses, thermal conduction, magnetic fields, and gravitational forces are all neglected. As a result, the problem is completely specified by two numbers: the Mach number of the shock, M, and the ratio of the density of the cloud to that of the intercloud medium, Chi. For strong shocks we show that the dependence on M scales out, so the primary independent parameter is Chi. Variations from this simple case are also considered: the potential effect of radiative losses is assessed by calculations in which the ratio of specific heats in the cloud is 1.1 instead of 5/3; the effect of the initial shape of the cloud is studied by using a cylindrical cloud instead of a spherical one; and the role of the initial shock is determined by considering the case of a cloud embedded in a wind. Local adaptive mesh refinement techniques with a second-order, two-fluid, two-dimensional Godunov hydrodynamic scheme are used to address these problems, allowing heretofore unobtainable numerical resolution. Convergence studies to be described in a subsequent paper demonstrate that about 100 zones per cloud radius are needed for accurate results; previous calculations have generally used about a third of this number. The results of the calculations are analyzed in terms of global quantities which provide an overall description of te shocked cloud: the size and shape of the cloud, the mean density, the mean pressure, the mean velocity, the velocity dispersion, and the total circulation.

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