By analogy to the iterative taste tests carried out by brave chefs trying
to replicate a dish for which they have no recipe, I will argue that we
need to "taste" simulations of star-forming regions in the same way we
"taste" real regions: by subjecting them to a host of observations, each
which probes a unique set of physical properties.
By way of example, I will present a new, topologically-oriented, "tasting" technique that can break up the material in a star-forming region into a set of hierarchical structures. The technique relies upon "dendrograms" (tree diagrams) to describe structure. The dendrogram results give what appears to be a more realistic view of cloud structure than pictures offered by non-hierarchical methods (e.g. CLUMPFIND), and we are able to delineate self-gravitating structures, as well as unbound structures, on a variety of scales.
The talk will include a demonstration of the "Star Formation Taste Tests" online collaboratory we have established. To see, and/or be added to, the collaborative online "Star Formation Taste Tests" site please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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