Stars form by gravoturbulent fragmentation of interstellar gas clouds. The supersonic turbulence ubiquitously observed in Galactic molecular gas generates strong density fluctuations with gravity taking over in the densest and most massive regions. Collapse sets in to build up stars and star clusters.
Back to Workshop II: N-Body Problems in Astrophysics
I will review the current progress in star formation theory and discuss results from numerical calculations of gravoturbulent cloud fragmentation. Special emphasis lies on calculations with smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) which is a Lagrangian, particle-based method to solve the equations of hydrodynamics. I will give a brief introduction into SPH and focus on its ability to describe systems in the transition phase from pure hydrodynamics (the interstellar gas clouds) to stellar dynamics (the embedded star clusters that build up in these clouds).