Physics and Astronomy Publications


Linear Stability Analysis of a Magnetic Rotating Disk with Ohmic Dissipation and Ambipolar Diffusion

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Astrophysical Journal





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We perform a linear analysis of the stability of isothermal, rotating, magnetic, self-gravitating sheets that are weakly ionized. The magnetic field and rotation axis are perpendicular to the sheet. We include a self-consistent treatment of thermal pressure, gravitational, rotational, and magnetic (pressure and tension) forces together with two nonideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) effects (ohmic dissipation and ambipolar diffusion) that are treated together for their influence on the properties of gravitational instability for a rotating sheetlike cloud or disk. Our results show that there is always a preferred length scale and associated minimum timescale for gravitational instability. We investigate their dependence on important dimensionless free parameters of the problem: the initial normalized mass-to-flux ratio μ 0, the rotational Toomre parameter Q, the dimensionless ohmic diffusivity ηOD,0, and the dimensionless neutral-ion collision time τni,0, which is a measure of the ambipolar diffusivity. One consequence of ηOD,0 is that there is a maximum preferred length scale of instability that occurs in the transcritical (μ 0 ⪆ 1) regime, qualitatively similar to the effect of τni,0, but with quantitative differences. The addition of rotation leads to a generalized Toomre criterion (that includes a magnetic dependence) and modified length scales and timescales for collapse. When nonideal MHD effects are also included, the Toomre criterion reverts back to the hydrodynamic value. We apply our results to protostellar disk properties in the early embedded phase and find that the preferred scale of instability can significantly exceed the thermal (Jeans) scale and the peak preferred fragmentation mass is likely to be ∼10-90 M Jup.

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