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Paper: Collapse, Fragmentation, and Accretion in Massive Cores
Volume: 387, Massive Star Formation: Observations Confront Theory
Page: 200
Authors: Krumholz, M.R.
Abstract: Recent observations indicate that the mass and spatial distributions of young star clusters are likely set by a process of initial fragmentation of a gas cloud into prestellar gas cores. In this paper I review the physical mechanisms by which a massive core produced in this fragmentation process collapses and forms a massive star or stellar system, with particular attention to the question of how such a core sub-fragments, and how the resulting fragments accrete mass from their environment. I show that, under the conditions that prevail in observed regions of massive star formation, cores fragment quite weakly as a result of radiative feedback. The few stars that form within them accrete primarily through massive unstable disks, in a process that continues until the parent core has been exhausted but not beyond that point. This process naturally explains the observed similarity between core and stellar mass and spatial distributions, and also reproduces the multiplicity properties of massive star systems.
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