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    Recent observations indicate that mm/cm-sized grains may exist in the embedded protostellar discs. How such large grains grow from the micron size (or less) in the earliest phase of star formation remains relatively unexplored. In this study, we take a first step to model the grain growth in the protostellar environment, using 2D (axisymmetric) radiation hydrodynamic and grain growth simulations. We show that the grain growth calculations can be greatly simplified by the ‘terminal velocity approximation’, where the dust drift velocity relative to the gas is proportional to its stopping time, which is proportional to the grain size. We find that the grain–grain collision from size-dependent terminal velocity alone is too slow to convert a significant fraction of the initially micron-sized grains into mm/cm sizes during the deeply embedded Class 0 phase. Substantial grain growth is achieved when the grain–grain collision speed is enhanced by a factor of 4. The dust growth above and below the disc midplane enables the grains to settle faster towards the midplane, which increases the local dust-to-gas ratio, which, in turn, speeds up further growth there. How this needed enhancement can be achieved is unclear, although turbulence is a strong possibility that deserves furthermore »exploration.

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    With the advent of ALMA, it is now possible to observationally constrain how discs form around deeply embedded protostars. In particular, the recent ALMA C3H2 line observations of the nearby protostar L1527 have been interpreted as evidence for the so-called ‘centrifugal barrier,’ where the protostellar envelope infall is gradually decelerated to a stop by the centrifugal force in a region of super-Keplerian rotation. To test the concept of centrifugal barrier, which was originally based on angular momentum conserving-collapse of a rotating test particle around a fixed point mass, we carry out simple axisymmetric hydrodynamic simulations of protostellar disc formation including a minimum set of ingredients: self-gravity, rotation, and a prescribed viscosity that enables the disc to accrete. We find that a super-Keplerian region can indeed exist when the viscosity is relatively large but, unlike the classic picture of centrifugal barrier, the infalling envelope material is not decelerated solely by the centrifugal force. The region has more specific angular momentum than its surrounding envelope material, which points to an origin in outward angular momentum transport in the disc (subject to the constraint of disc expansion by the infalling envelope), rather than the spin-up of the envelope material envisioned in themore »classic picture as it falls closer to the centre in order to conserve angular momentum. For smaller viscosities, the super-Keplerian rotation is weaker or non-existing. We conclude that, despite the existence of super-Keplerian rotation in some parameter regime, the classic picture of centrifugal barrier is not supported by our simulations.

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  3. ABSTRACT Common envelope (CE) evolution is a critical but still poorly understood progenitor phase of many high-energy astrophysical phenomena. Although 3D global hydrodynamic CE simulations have become more common in recent years, those involving an asymptotic giant branch (AGB) primary are scarce, due to the high computational cost from the larger dynamical range compared to red giant branch (RGB) primaries. But CE evolution with AGB progenitors is desirable to simulate because such events are the likely progenitors of most bi-polar planetary nebulae (PNe), and prominent observational testing grounds for CE physics. Here we present a high-resolution global simulation of CE evolution involving an AGB primary and 1-$\mathrm{M_\odot }$ secondary, evolved for 20 orbital revolutions. During the last 16 of these orbits, the envelope unbinds at an almost constant rate of about 0.1–$0.2\, \mathrm{M_\odot \, yr^{-1}}$. If this rate were maintained, the envelope would be unbound in less than $10\, {\rm yr}$. The dominant source of this unbinding is consistent with inspiral; we assess the influence of the ambient medium to be subdominant. We compare this run with a previous run that used an RGB phase primary evolved from the same 2-$\mathrm{M_\odot }$ main-sequence star to assess the influence of themore »evolutionary state of the primary. When scaled appropriately, the two runs are quite similar, but with some important differences.« less
  4. Abstract We compute the forces, torque and rate of work on the companion-core binary due to drag in global simulations of common envelope (CE) evolution for three different companion masses. Our simulations help to delineate regimes when conventional analytic drag force approximations are applicable. During and just prior to the first periastron passage of the in-spiral phase, the drag force is reasonably approximated by conventional analytic theory and peaks at values proportional to the companion mass. Good agreement between global and local 3D “wind tunnel” simulations, including similar net drag force and flow pattern, is obtained for comparable regions of parameter space. However, subsequent to the first periastron passage, the drag force is up to an order of magnitude smaller than theoretical predictions, quasi-steady, and depends only weakly on companion mass. The discrepancy is exacerbated for larger companion mass and when the inter-particle separation reduces to the Bondi-Hoyle-Lyttleton accretion radius, creating a turbulent thermalized region. Greater flow symmetry during this phase leads to near balance of opposing gravitational forces in front of and behind the companion, hence a small net drag. The reduced drag force at late times helps explain why companion-core separations necessary for envelope ejection are not reachedmore »by the end of limited duration CE simulations.« less