AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 13. Cosmological Simulations
Display, Wednesday, January 12, 2000, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[13.08] The Influence of Molecular Cooling in Pregalactic Structure Formation

P.C. Stancil (University of Tennessee), T. Abel (CfA), S. Lepp (UNLV), A. Dalgarno (CfA)

The detailed chemistry and cooling in collapsing primordial clouds will be presented for total baryonic densities up to ~106 cm-3. The model consists of 160 reactions of 23 species including H2, HD, HeH+, and LiH, and accounts for 8 different cooling and heating mechanisms. The hydrodynamic evolution of the gas is modeled under the assumptions of free-fall, isothermal, and isobaric collapse as well as for the central regions of ~105 M\sun objects in hierarchical scenarios. The latter being drawn from three-dimensional cosmological hydrodynamical simulations. The dominant processes in the reaction network are identified and a minimal model that accurately predicts the full chemistry will be presented. It is found that radiative cooling due to collisional excitation of HD can lower the temperature in a primordial cloud below that reachable through H2 cooling alone. Further, the temperature evolution is influenced by the choice of the adopted H2 radiative cooling function. Implications for globular cluster and primordial star formation, as well as structure formation on small scales and the importance of molecular cooling in general will be discussed.

The work of P.C.S. was supported by the DoE ORNL LDRD Seed Money Fund. T.A. acknowledges support from NSF Grant ASC--9318185. The work of S.L. and A.D. was supported by NSF Cooperative Agreement OSR-9353227 and Astronomical Sciences Grant AST-93-01099, respectively.

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