Condensation and evaporation of interstellar clouds in chemodynamical models of galaxies

J.Köppen, Ch.Theis, G.Hensler

ABSTRACT The network of interactions between hot gas, cool clouds, massive stars, and stellar remnants used in the chemodynamical modeling of the interstellar medium is investigated for the types of its solutions. In a physically consistent formulation for the energy transfer during condensation, oscillations due to a cyclic switching between condensation and evaporation never occur. A closed-box system evolves in a hierarchy of equilibria: thermal balance in the cloud gas, star-formation self-regulated due to heating of the clouds by massive stars, and the balance of condensation and evaporation. Except for an initial transitory phase, the evolution of the metallicity follows that of the Simple Model quite closely. For galaxies with a high initial density, or if the condensation rate is low, the metals produced by the stars may remain stored in the hot gas phase even in evolved systems with low gas fractions.