AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 73. Interim Stellar Materials: Gas, Dust and Clouds
Display, Thursday, June 6, 2002, 9:20am-4:00pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[73.21] Enhancement of Ambipolar Diffusion Rates through Field Fluctuations

M. Fatuzzo (Xavier Unviersity), F. C. Adams (University of Michigan)

Previous treatments of ambipolar diffusion in star-forming molecular clouds do not consider the effects of fluctuations in the fluid fields about their mean values. This work generalizes the ambipolar diffusion problem in molecular cloud layers to include such fluctuations. Because magnetic diffusion is a nonlinear process, fluctuations can lead to an enhancement of the ambipolar diffusion rate. In addition, the stochastic nature of the process makes the ambipolar diffusion time take on a distribution of different values. In this poster, we focus on the case of long wavelength fluctuations and find that the rate of ambipolar diffusion increases by a significant factor \Lambda ~1 - 10. The corresponding decrease in the magnetic diffusion time helps make ambipolar diffusion more consistent with observations.

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

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.