Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Stellar wind

  1. Apr 28, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Hi, i have 2 past exam questions that i need to be able to solve for my exam in 3 days time:

    consider the portion of a stellar wind of mass density rho, pressure p, temperature T and velocity v between the radii r=R_i = 10R_* and r=R_o = 100R_* where R_* is the radius of the star. Assuming this portion has reached Virial Equilibrium, state the Virial theorem describing it.

    {10 marks (=20%), so not just writing down the virial equation}

    also, another similar question from the next year:

    Consider an isotropic stellar wind of mass density rho, pressure p, temperature T and velocity v that has reached to a distance r=R_w from the centre of a star. The star has mass M* and radius R*. Write down the time-dependent Virial Theorem describing the wind between the spherical surfaces r=R* and r=R_w. Assume the gravitational acceleration of the material in the wind is dominated by the mass of the star (ie. you can neglect the self gravity of the gas in the wind.)

    2. Relevant equations

    time dependent virial theorem:
    1/2 d^2I/dt^2 = 2T + W + 3Pi - closedIntegral(p r).ds

    I = integral (rho v^2).dV is moment of inertia
    T = kinetic energy = integral (1/2 rho v^2).dv
    W = -integral(rho r . grad(Phi)).dV is the thermal energy, Phi = GM(r)/r
    the surface integral accounts for outside pressure

    3. The attempt at a solution

    to be honest ive got got too far. For the fisrt question there is virial equalibrium, so d^I/dt^ = 0, but for the second question the next part is proving the wind cannot be in a state of equalibrium (however this course didnt go into much detail about magnetic field freezing in plasma, transporting angular momentum away, so i think (or hope) i can assume the wind doesnt rotate).

    grad(Phi) = GM_*/r^2 since no wind self gravity and M_wind << M_*, and so W = GM_* integral rho / r dV where dV is 4 pi r^2 dr. My main problem is getting time depenmdent forms for this since i have the velocity v, and what to use for p, the isothermal equation of state p = rho Cs^2 where Cs is the sound speed, or should i use the form from assuming the corona is in hydrostatic equalibrium (which i know it isnt- hence the setllar wind), where
    p(r) = P_0 exp{-L (1 - r_0/r)}
    where P_0 = 2nkT by the ideal gas law where all gas is ionized H, so mu=1/2 and n=rho/m_p. L is the left over constants (G M_* m_p) /(2 k T r_0) which ~ ratio of a protons gravitational P.E to its K.E

    sorry im just not too sure where to go with this so i havent done much. There realy isnt anything in my notes (besides the virial equation and the isothermal EOS), so im not missing out helpful stuff here
  2. jcsd
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?
Draft saved Draft deleted