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The Tai Chi in Star Formation

Hua-bai Li


Tai chi, a Chinese martial art developed based on the laws of nature, emphasises how "to conquer the unyielding with the yielding". The recent observation of star formation shows that stars result from the interaction between gravity, turbulence and magnetic fields. This interaction again follows the natural rules that inspired tai chi. For example, if self-gravity is the force that dominates, the molecular cloud will collapse isotropically, which compresses magnetic field lines. The density of the yielding field lines increases until magnetic pressure reaches the critical value to support the cloud against the gravitational force in directions perpendicular to the field lines (Lorentz force). Then gravity gives way to Lorentz force, accumulating gas only along the field lines until the gas density achieves the critical value to again compress the field lines. 

About Editors

Hua-bai Li was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1974. He received a PhD in astrophysics from Northwestern University in 2006. Afterwards, he worked in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Max Planck Institute for Astronomy. In August 2013, he started his professorship in the Department of Physics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research group studies how magnetic fields and turbulence regulate star formation; they use various novel methods in observations, numerical simulations and instrumentation.

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Paperback ISBN: 9780750328821

Ebook ISBN: 9781681742946

DOI: 10.1088/978-1-6817-4293-9

Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers


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