Volume 648, April 2021
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Published online||14 April 2021|
Coagulation of inertial particles in supersonic turbulence
Nordita, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
2 Meteorology and Oceanography, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, PO Box 1022 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
Accepted: 14 February 2021
Coagulation driven by supersonic turbulence is primarily an astrophysical problem because coagulation processes on Earth are normally associated with incompressible fluid flows at low Mach numbers, while dust aggregation in the interstellar medium for instance is an example of the opposite regime. We study coagulation of inertial particles in compressible turbulence using high-resolution direct and shock-capturing numerical simulations with a wide range of Mach numbers from nearly incompressible to moderately supersonic. The particle dynamics is simulated by representative particles and the effects on the size distribution and coagulation rate due to increasing Mach number is explored. We show that the time evolution of particle size distribution mainly depends on the compressibility (Mach number). We find that the average coagulation kernel ⟨Cij⟩ scales linearly with the average Mach number ℳrms multiplied by the combined size of the colliding particles, that is, 〈Cij〉∼〈(ai+aj)3〉 ℳrmsτη−1, which is qualitatively consistent with expectations from analytical estimates. A quantitative correction 〈Cij〉∼〈(ai+aj)3〉(vp,rms/cs)τη−1 is proposed and can serve as a benchmark for future studies. We argue that the coagulation rate ⟨Rc⟩ is also enhanced by compressibility-induced compaction of particles.
Key words: dust, extinction
© ESO 2021
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