Heidelberg Joint Astronomical Colloquium

Speaker Tom Abel
Title Star Formation Then and Now
Abstract Dramatic algorithmic breakthroughs over the last ten years enabled ab initio calculations of many questions in cosmological structure formation. Very complex problems can be addressed using these numerical techniques. This talk will highlight new insights gained from such supercomputer calculations into how stars form in our Galaxy and why molecular clouds are long lived. The calculations demonstrate that proto-stellar outflows regulate star formation on small scales, and drive turbulence at scales much larger than their injection scales. These results suggest an outflow regulated core fed model of massive star formation which is differs markedly from both the turbulent core and the competitive accretion scenarios discussed previously. A more detailed understanding of star formation over cosmic time is likely to dramatically improve the accuracy of our predictions for the physical properties of very first galaxies and the high redshift Universe in general.