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Molecular inheritance from cloud to disk: a story of complex organics and accretion shocks

Stars like the sun are born in large molecular clouds existing from gas and dust. During the formation process, the chemical composition of the material can be altered drastically by the changing physical conditions.

Gelder, M.L. van
24 November 2022
Thesis in Leiden Repository

This thesis focuses on how molecules in young protostellar systems are inherited from molecular clouds. The emphasis lies on so-called complex organic molecules and accretion shocks.Based on observations of complex organic molecules, it can be suggested that the molecular composition of a protostellar disk is (partially) inherited from the molecular cloud. The abundance ratio between various molecules is remarkably constant in various protostellar systems, implying that they form under similar conditions in molecular clouds. Furthermore, absence of complex molecules in observations does not directly mean that they are absent in the protostellar system but rather that they are hidden from us.This thesis also focuses on accretion shocks at the boundary between infalling cloud and protostellar disk. Based on a comparison between detailed numerical simulations and observations it can be suggested that strong accretions are not always present in protostellar systems. In turn, this suggests that the chemical composition in protostellar disks can be directly inherited from the molecular cloud.

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