Dr Kristin Lund

Project Title: A Galactic scale theory for star formation

One of the main influences on galactic scale star formation theory is feedback from high mass stars. Massive stars are objects with massive impact, both on small and large scales. Through their lifetime, and at the end of it, they inject energy into their surroundings and spread heavy elements, affecting both the dynamical and chemical evolution of the galaxy. There is general agreement on their significance, they are widely studied, but how they are formed is still up for debate. Theories include accretion of material onto lower mass stars, stellar mergers and combinations of these.

In my research I consider accretion as a potential formation mechanism for high mass stars. Using semi-analytical modelling and a radiative hydrodynamical code I investigate accretion onto stars, with the aim of finding mechanisms which will increase the amount of material added, to the point of eventually reaching a high mass star. One of my main results is finding that accretion in the presence of a magnetic field makes it considerably easier to form high mass binary stars.

Awarded: Carnegie PhD Scholarship

Field: Physics and Astronomy

University: University of St Andrews

Latest News