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|Title:||Dynamical Modification of a Primordial Population of Binaries in Simulations of Star Cluster Formation|
|Other Titles:||Primordial Binaries and Star Cluster Formation|
Harris, William E.
|Department:||Physics and Astronomy|
|Keywords:||astronomy;computational astrophysics;star clusters;binary stars|
|Abstract:||Most star formation in galaxies takes place in embedded clusters, within Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs). Stars also generally form as part of binary star systems, with almost all massive stars having at least one close companion. Binaries shape the physical properties of older star clusters by setting their central density and ejecting low-mass stars, but also play a role during cluster formation by modifying the mechanical and radiative feedback from massive stars and shedding enriched material in the cluster’s gas reservoir. Conversely, dynamical interactions between stars in dense stellar environments are known to form, modify, and destroy binary systems. In consequence, the populations of binaries observed in the Galactic field and in old stellar clusters are understood to be shaped by a combination of the physics of star formation and subsequent dynamical interactions in embedded clusters, although the relative importance of these processes remains unknown. In this thesis, we implement a prescription for an initial population of binaries in the coupled N-body and radiation hydrodynamics star cluster formation code Torch, and investigate how this initial population is modified in the earliest stages of cluster formation, while gas and stars coexist. As an ansatz for the initial population of binaries, we use the properties of main-sequence binaries in the Galactic field. We first perform a suite of simulations initialized from a 10^4 M⦿ cloud, in which the simulations only differ by their stellar content (i.e. presence or absence of an initial population of binaries, and stochasticity of star formation). We compare the populations of binaries identified 1.2–2 Myr after the onset of star formation and find that an initial population of binaries is needed at all masses to reproduce the multiplicity fraction observed in main-sequence stars. We also show that this initial population is modified in a systematic manner before the effects of feedback from massive stars shape the gas. We further find evidence of both preferential formation and preferential destruction of binaries via dynamical interactions. The net effect of these interactions shifts the distributions of primary masses and semi-major axes to lower values, and the distributions of mass ratios and eccentricities to larger values. In a second time, we perform simulations with different virial parameters and initial turbulent velocity patterns, and find that the trends previously identified are robust to those changes in our initial conditions. We however find that both the virial parameter and the initial turbulent velocity pattern have a strong influence on the star formation rate, and therefore on the rapidity with which the distributions are modified. We conclude that dynamical interactions in embedded clusters are important for shaping the populations of binaries observed in the MilkyWay, thus opening the floor to future investigations of the impact of binaries on star cluster formation.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Cournoyer-Cloutier_Claude_2021-08_MSc.pdf||9.53 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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