Institution(s): 1. University College London
Brown dwarfs are substellar objects whose exact formation process remains something of a mystery. The central question is how a gravitationally bound object much smaller than the average Jean's mass in a molecular cloud could be formed. Several mechanisms through which a brown dwarf could be formed have been proposed such as forming in the disk of a massive protostar or through the ejection of an accreting low mass protostar before it has acquired enough mass to be considered a star.
The origin of a brown dwarf could be determined observationally through the physical characteristics of proto brown dwarf. However, many physical characteristics do not entirely rule out any particular formation mechanism and further evidence is required. We explore the possibility of using chemistry to differentiate between formation processes.
In this talk, I will present chemical models of the different scenarios that can lead to pre brown dwarfs and I will show how by observing molecular species such as NH3, N2H+ and CS one may be able to identify the cores that eventually will form brown dwarfs.