A Coupled Dynamical and Chemical Model of Starless Cores of Magnetized Molecular Clouds. I. Formulation and Initial Results

Zhi‐Yun Li, V. I. Shematovich, D. S. Wiebe, B. M. Shustov
2002 Astrophysical Journal  
We develop a detailed chemical model for the starless cores of strongly magnetized molecular clouds, with the ambipolar diffusion-driven dynamic evolution of the clouds coupled to the chemistry through ion abundances. We concentrate on two representative model clouds in this initial study, one with magnetic fields and the other without. The model predictions on the peak values and spatial distributions of the column densities of CO, CCS, N$_2$H$^+$ and HCO$^+$ are compared with those
more » ... th those observationally inferred for the well-studied starless core L1544, which is thought to be on the verge of star formation. We find that the magnetic model, in which the cloud is magnetically supported for several million years before collapsing dynamically, provides a reasonable overall fit to the available data on L1544; the fit is significantly worse for the non-magnetic model, in which the cloud collapses promptly. The observed large peak column density for N$_2$H$^+$ and clear central depression for CCS favor the magnetically-retarded collapse over the free-fall collapse. A relatively high abundance of CCS is found in the magnetic model, resulting most likely from an interplay of depletion and late-time hydrocarbon chemistry enhanced by CO depletion. These initial results lend some support to the standard picture of dense core formation in strongly magnetized clouds through ambipolar diffusion. They are at variance with those of Aikawa et al. (2001) who considered a set of models somewhat different from ours and preferred one in which the cloud collapses more or less freely for L1544.
doi:10.1086/339353 fatcat:2g6f6mx6t5a2xodpssz7q4hhfa