Tree-based solvers for adaptive mesh refinement code FLASH -- III: a novel scheme for radiation pressure on dust and gas and radiative transfer from diffuse sources


Submitted on 19 April 2022


Radiation is an important contributor to the energetics of the interstellar medium, yet its transport is difficult to solve numerically. We present a novel approach towards solving radiative transfer of diffuse sources via backwards ray tracing. Here we focus on the radiative transfer of infrared radiation and the radiation pressure on dust. The new module, \textsc{TreeRay/RadPressure}, is an extension to the novel radiative transfer method \textsc{TreeRay} implemented in the grid-based MHD code {\sc Flash}. In \textsc{TreeRay/RadPressure}, every cell and every star particle is a source of infrared radiation. We also describe how gas, dust and radiation are coupled via a chemical network. This allows us to compute the local dust temperature in thermal equilibrium, leading to a significantly improvement over the classical grey approximation. In several tests, we demonstrate that the scheme produces the correct radiative intensities as well as the correct momentum input by radiation pressure. Subsequently, we apply our new scheme to model massive star formation from a collapsing, turbulent core of 150 ${\rm M}_\odot$. We trace the effects of both, ionizing and infrared radiation on the dynamics of the core. We find that the newborn massive star(s) prevent fragmentation in their proximity through radiative heating. Over time, dust and radiation temperature equalize, while the gas temperature can be either warmer due to shock heating or colder due to insufficient dust-gas coupling. Compared to gravity, the effects of radiation pressure become significant on the core scale only at an evolved stage.


Comment: 25 pages, 19 figures, submitted to MNRAS

Subjects: Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics; Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics