AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 65. Computational Astrophysics
Display, Wednesday, June 6, 2001, 10:00am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[65.05] Hydrodynamic Interaction of Shock Waves with Inhomogeneous Media

A.Y. Poludnenko, A. Frank, E.G. Blackman (University of Rochester)

A large class of astrophysical flows occur in inhomogeneous (clumpy) media. The dynamics of the shock interaction with the embedded inhomogeneities can cause local as well as global changes in the dynamical, physical, and chemical state of the system. We present results of a numerical study of the interaction of a single, steady, planar shock with a system of embedded cylindrical clouds in a two-dimensional geometry. We neglect any radiative losses, heat conduction, magnetic fields, and gravitational forces. Our numerical study is based on the use of an adaptive mesh refinement code which allows us to achieve sufficiently high resolution both at the largest and the smallest scales.

We present a description of various stages of the shock/cloud system evolution and define a set of global parameters such as the cloud destruction time, velocities of cloud acceleration and expansion, etc. Analysis of the results of the simulations shows that the interaction of embedded inhomogeneities with the shock/postshock wind depends primarily on the thickness of the cloud layer and arrangement of the clouds in the layer, as opposed to the total cloud mass and the total number of individual clouds. This allows us to define two classes of cloud distributions: thin and thick layers. We define the critical cloud separation along the direction of the flow and perpendicular to it, that distinguish between the interacting and noninteracting regimes of cloud evolution. Finally, we discuss mass-loading and mixing in such systems.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: wma@pas.rochester.edu

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