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Paving the path between low- and high-mass star formation: dynamics probed by Herschel far-infrared spectroscopy

Promotor: Prof.dr. E.F. van Dishoeck, Prof.dr. F.F.S. van der Tak (RUG)

I. San José García
18 juni 2015
Thesis in Leiden Repository

This thesis presents the results from the analysis and characterisation of the water and mid-J (J<11) 12CO, 13CO and C18O observations for a large sample of low-, intermediate-, and high-mass young stellar objects (YSOs). The studied molecular transitions have been observed with the HIFI instrument on board of Herschel Space Observatory and within the context of the Herschel key programme “WISH”. These species and transitions constitute unambiguous tracers of specific physical conditions within the inner and warmer regions of the YSO environment. The sample of sources, composed by more than 120 YSOs, covers a large range of bolometric luminosities, several evolutionary stages within the embedded phase, and different physical scales. The aim of this work is to explore the differences and similarities between low- and high-mass star-forming regions. In particular, this study focuses on investigating the physical and dynamical structure of dense warm gas within protostellar environments by characterising the velocity-resolved H2O and CO spectra in terms of line profile and line luminosity. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the understanding of the star formation process without imposing luminosity boundaries, and to put in context these processes on Galactic and extragalactic scales.