Turbulence in the interstellar medium
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Turbulence is ubiquitous in the insterstellar medium and plays a major role in several processes such as the formation of dense structures and stars, the stability of molecular clouds, the amplification of magnetic fields, and the re-acceleration and diffusion of cosmic rays. Despite its importance, interstellar turbulence, like turbulence in general, is far from being fully understood. In this review we present the basics of turbulence physics, focusing on the statistics of its structure and energy cascade. We explore the physics of compressible and incompressible turbulent flows, as well as magnetised cases. The most relevant observational techniques that provide quantitative insights into interstellar turbulence are also presented. We also discuss the main difficulties in developing a three-dimensional view of interstellar turbulence from these observations. Finally, we briefly present what the main sources of turbulence in the interstellar medium could be.
Falceta-Goncalves , D , Kowal , G , Falgarone , E & Chian , A C -L 2014 , ' Turbulence in the interstellar medium ' Nonlinear processes in geophysics , vol 21 , no. 3 , pp. 587-604 . DOI: 10.5194/npg-21-587-2014
Nonlinear processes in geophysics
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
D. Falceta-Gonçalves thanks the European Research Council (ADG-2011 ECOGAL) and Brazilian agencies CNPq (no. 300382/2008-1), CAPES (3400-13-1) and FAPESP (no. 2011/12909-8) for financial support. G. Kowal acknowledges support from FAPESP grant no. 2013/04073-2. A. C.-L. Chian thanks the European Commission for the award of a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship and CNPq for support.