A Study of Grain Drift in C Stars Theoretical Modeling of Dust-Driven Winds in Carbon-Rich Pulsating Giant Stars

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: A major fraction of stars will pass through a short period of dramatic events in their final evolutionary stage. Low- to intermediate-mass stars, studied here, are stripped of their outer parts in a slow massive wind. This mass loss reshapes both the star and the surrounding medium. The formation of the wind is a consequence of the non-linear interaction of a number of physical processes. Stellar pulsations and efficient dust formation are examples of such key processes. Time-dependent theoretical models, in combination with observations, are useful tools for understanding these winds.The main object of this thesis has been the physical improvement of a theoretical wind model. Here the coupling between the dust and gas in the wind is studied in further detail, allowing drift. The methods that have been developed earlier to describe the micro-physical interaction are overviewed and summarized. Previously dust has often been assumed to move at the same velocity as gas. New time-dependent wind models are presented where grain drift has been treated self-consistently. Specifically, the coupling between dust and gas in the wind has been modeled more realistically, with descriptions of both the modified momentum and energy balances, and drift dependent dust formation. The results of these new ``drift models'' have been compared with the results of non-drift models. A general result of the study is that the effects of drift are significant and difficult to predict if a simple analytical theory is used. It has been found that dust in drift models tends to accumulate in certain dense regions, an accumulation that was not possible without drift. Moreover the new models show an increased variability in the wind structure. The use of drift in dust formation tends to markedly increase the produced dust. Some sets of model parameters lead to a wind without including drift, but a corresponding wind does not form when drift is included -- and vice versa. The effects of drift are important and can probably not be ignored in realistic models.