Prof. Thomas Hartquist (Leeds university)
In the absence of magnetic fields and cosmic rays, radiative cooling laws with a range of dependences on temperature affect the stability of interstellar gas. For about four and a half decades, astrophysicists have recognised the importance of the thermal instability for the formation of clouds in the interstellar medium. Even in the past several years, many papers have concerned the role of the thermal instability in the production of molecular clouds. About three and a half decades ago, astrophysicists investigating radiative shocks noticed that for many cooling laws such shocks are unstable. Attempts to address the effects of cosmic rays on the stability of radiative media that are initially uniform or that are shocked have been made. The simplest approach to such studies involves the assumption that the cosmic rays behave as a fluid. Work based on such an approach is described.