High-mass star formation from a Galactic context
Theories of massive star formation are hampered by our incomplete understanding of the initial conditions of star formation and of massive star forming clumps in particular. Models of massive star formation have used a variety of initial conditions ranging from uniform density to highly centrally condensed clumps. The distinction between the models requires the ability to determine the physical conditions observationally as well as the evolutionary sequence through which these objects evolve.
I will discuss ongoing work on the formation of massive stars and their surrounding clusters and the roles of turbulence, fragmentation and feedback plays an important role in this sequence. Ultimately, it will be our understanding as to how the physical conditions arise that will allow us to develop a complete theory for high-mass star formation. To that end, numerical simulations of star formation need to consider the larger scale context which initiates and drives star formation on a Galactic scale.