Neutrino decay and the thermochemical equilibrium of the interstellar medium
N.M. Sánchez 1,2 and
N.Y. Añez 1
Received 23 September 1999 / Accepted 22 December 1999
We calculate the thermochemical equilibrium of the diffuse interstellar medium, including ionization by a photon flux from neutrino decay. The main heating mechanism considered is photoelectrons from grains and PAHs. For the studied range of values, there always exists two regions of stability (a warm and a cold phase) that can coexist in equilibrium if the thermal interstellar pressure is between a maximum value () and a minimum value (). High values ( cm-2 s-1) can be consistent with observed interstellar pressures only if more efficient sources are heating the gas. It is shown that a neutrino flux increase (due, for example, to an increase in the supernova explosion rate) may stimulate the condensation of cold gas by decreasing below the interstellar pressure value.
Key words: ISM: general ISM: clouds stars: formation elementary particles
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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000
Online publication: February 25, 2000