Are Photons Movers and Shakers?
January 23, 2014
Abstract: An important consideration for galaxy evolution is the role radiation forces play in the dynamics of rapidly-star-forming environments. Can radiation accelerate high velocity outflows? Can radiation drive high-Mach-number turbulence? I will discuss whether instabilities limit the coupling between dusty gas and radiation, emphasizing recent results from numerical simulations. I will first describe some new tools that evolve the coupled equations of radiation transfer and (magneto)hydrodynamics without relying on ad hoc prescriptions that are typically used. I will then show how the dynamics of radiation-pressure-dominated, dusty atmospheres depend sensitively on the radiation transfer algorithms and summarize the implications of our results for observed systems.