Sustained Oscillations In Interstellar Chemistry Models

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
October 6, 2020
Filed under
Sustained Oscillations In Interstellar Chemistry Models
NH3 and deuterated isotopologues formation

Non-linear behavior in interstellar chemical models has been recognized for 25 years now. Different mechanisms account for the possibility of multiple fixed-points at steady state, characterized by the ionization degree of the gas.

Chemical oscillations are also a natural behaviour of non-linear chemical models. We study under which conditions spontaneous sustained chemical oscillations are possible, and what kind of biffurcations lead to, or quench, the occurrence of such oscillations.

Methods. The well known Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE) integrator VODE is used to explore initial conditions and parameter space in a gas phase chemical model of a dark interstellar cloud. We recall that the time evolution of the various chemical abundances under fixed temperature conditions depends on the density over cosmic ionization rate nH/{\zeta} ratio. We also report the occurrence of naturally sustained oscillations for a limited but well defined range of control parameters. The period of oscillations is within the range of characteristic time scales of interstellar processes and could lead to spectacular resonances in time dependent models. Reservoir species (C, CO, NH3, …) oscillation amplitudes are generally less than a factor two. However, these amplitudes reach a factor ten to thousand for low abundance species, e.g. HCN, ND3, that may play a key role for diagnostic purposes.The mechanism responsible for oscillations is tightly linked to the chemistry of nitrogen, and requires long chains of reactions such as found in multi-deuteration processes.

Evelyne Roueff, Jacques Le Bourlot
Comments: accepted for publication in Astronomy ad Astrophysics
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)
Cite as: arXiv:2010.01348 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:2010.01348v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)
Submission history
From: Jacques Le Bourlot
[v1] Sat, 3 Oct 2020 13:03:28 UTC (2,088 KB)
Astrobiology, Astrochemistry,

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻