Radiation Hydrodynamics of Line-Driven Winds

Stan Owocki

Bartol Research Institute
Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Delaware

Dimtri Mihalas' textbooks in the 70's and 80's on "Stellar Atmospheres" and "Foundations of Radiation Hydrodynamics" helped lay the early groundwork for understanding the moving atmospheres and winds of massive, luminous stars. Indeed, the central role of the momentum of stellar radiation in driving the mass outflow makes such massive-star winds key prototypes for radiation hydodynamical processes. This paper reviews the dynamics of such radiative driving, building first upon the standard CAK model, and then discussing subtleties associated with the development and saturation of instabilities, and wind initiation near the sonic point base. An overall goal is to illuminate the rich physics of radiative driving and the challenges that lie ahead in developing dynamical models that can explain the broad scalings of mass loss rate and flow speed with stellar properties, as well as the often complex structure and variability observed in massive-star outflows.

Reference: to appear in "Recent Directions in Astrophysical Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiation Hydrodynamics", proceedings of conference to honor 70th Birthday of D. Mihalas, AIP
Status: Conference proceedings

Weblink: http://www.bartol.udel.edu/~owocki/preprints/RadWinds-Mihalas70th-Mar09.pdf

Comments: astro-ph > arXiv:0908.1565

Email: owocki@bartol.udel.edu