A universal, turbulence-regulated, multi-freefall star formation law

Christoph Federrath*, Diane M. Salim, Lisa J. Kewley

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We develop a new star formation (SF) law based on the density PDF of turbulence and on the multi-freefall concept of gas collapse. We derive a relation where the star formation rate (SFR) correlates with the molecular gas mass per multi-freefall time, whereas previous models had used the average, single-freefall time. We define a new quantity called maximum (multi-freefall) gas consumption rate (MGCR) and show that the actual SFR is only about 0.4% of this maximum possible SFR, confirming the observed low efficiency of star formation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)740
    Number of pages1
    JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
    Issue numberA29B
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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