The role of discs in low-mass star formation
A. Whitworth, D. Hubber
Protostellar discs provide ideal conditions for the formation of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. Discs that form around young protostars in molecular clouds may quickly increase in mass, become unstable and fragment to form a second generation of stars, primarily of low-mass, and brown dwarfs. I will briefly present the predictions of the disc fragmentation model and discuss whether this mechanism can actually work in nature, considering the role of radiative feedback from young protostars, which may suppress fragmentation. I will present simulated observations of fragmenting discs and discuss the possibility of observing such discs using current and future observing facilities (e.g. Herschel, ALMA). Finally, I will focus on the importance of Herschel observations of discs in Class 0 objects as a way of establishing the feasibility and the importance of the disc fragmentation model.