Herschel observations have revealed that every interstellar giant molecular cloud contains a rich network of filaments (e.g. Andre et al. 2010 A and A 518 L102). There is also a clear correlation between the magnetic field orientations and the density gradients of the filaments (e.g. Soler et al. 2013 ApJ 774 128). However, the origin of the filaments remains a subject of debate, although it is likely due to magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) flows interacting with gravity. Through a set of simulations, the proposed work will address the following questions: 1) how does ambipolardiffusion affect filament formation and is it responsible for setting a characteristic filament width; 2) why does that width depend on tracer?; 3) how do the magnetic field and density structures correlate at different length scales and for different filament masses?
Further information about this project and how to apply can be found on our website.