Journal Article Does feedback help or hinder star formation? The effect of photoionization on star formation in giant molecular clouds

Shima, Kazuhiro  ,  Tasker, Elizabeth J.  ,  Habe, Asao

467 ( 1 )  , pp.512 - 523 , 2017-05 , Oxford University Press
We investigated the effect of photoionizing feedback inside turbulent star-forming clouds, comparing the resultant star formation in both idealized profiles and more realistic cloud structures drawn from a global galaxy simulation. We performed a series of numerical simulations that compared the effect of star formation alone, photoionization and photoionization plus supernovae feedback. In the idealized cloud, photoionization suppresses gas fragmentation at early times, resulting in the formation of more massive stars and an increase in the star formation efficiency. At later times, the dispersal of the dense gas causes the radiative feedback effect to switch from positive to negative as the star formation efficiency drops. In the cloud extracted from the global simulation, the initial cloud is heavily fragmented prior to the stellar-feedback beginning and is largely structurally unaffected by the late injection of radiation energy. The result is a suppression of the star formation. We conclude that the efficiency of feedback is heavily dependent on the gas structure, with negative feedback dominating when the density is high.

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