We propose to run first-of-a-kind simulations of the embedded phase of star formation, covering the crucial time when protoplanetary disks are formed.
From previous modelling we know that disks assemble inside-out, as the characteristic angular momentum of the gas that arrives at the disk increases with time.
The ratio of disk mass to stellar mass can remain above the Toomre instability limit for several ten thousand years. During this time the disk is “fat” and turbulent, but eventually settles to a more conventional thin disk.By using the speed advantages offered by the DISPATCH code framework, it is now possible to model this crucial transition period in a realistic context. By arranging locally Cartesian tasks into cylindrical shells, corotating with the local Kepler speed, the update cost is reduced with the ratio of orbit speed to sound speed, and the numerical diffusion is significantly reduced.
We plan to start simulations from snapshots of the Küffmeier et al. (2017) simulations of a 40 parsec giant molecular cloud. Data from the Eulerian (“envelope”) patches are then mapped into the cylindrical shell patches, thus allowing continued simulation with significantly increased spatial resolution.
For the first time ever we will numerically resolve the scale height in protoplanetary disks down to a fraction of an AU while properly embedding it in a model of start formation evolving it over a 50 kyr time-scale.