Date : 5/15 (Mon) [13:30 - 14:30] @ F608
Speaker: Prof. Jonathan Tan (University of Florida)
Title : A Light in the Dark - Massive Star Birth Through Cosmic Time
Massive stars have played a dominant role in shaping our uni
verse since its earliest times, but there is still no consen
sus on the mechanism by which they form. I review the physic
s important for massive star formation and the intimate conn
ection this process has with star cluster formation. I then
focus on a particular theoretical model, Turbulent Core Accr
etion, which assumes the initial conditions are massive, tur
bulent, magnetized cores of gas and dust that are reasonably
close to virial equilibrium. Our group has been exploring t
his scenario via analytic models and numerical simulations o
f the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium. Cruc
ially, these models can now be tested in detail with ALMA an
d I present the latest results from multiple projects that a
re zooming in to massive star birth in the darkest shadows o
f giant molecular clouds. Extension of this work has the pot
ential to also determine how the full stellar initial mass f
unction is established across different Galactic environment
s. I then switch to the protostellar accretion phase and the
emergence of feedback processes, presenting both theoretica
l predictions and observational tests. Finally, I discuss an
application of massive star formation theory to the early u
niverse: how massive were the first stars and could they hav
e been the progenitors of supermassive black holes?

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