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Molecular Hydrogen Dissociation Front

(H2 Dissociation Front, Dissociation Front)
(point in a gas cloud where it is hot enough to dissociate hydrogen)

A Molecular Hydrogen Dissociation Front (H2 Dissociation Front or in context, just Dissociation Front) is a boundary in a cloud or Atmosphere between molecular and atomic hydrogen. If lower depths (inner portions) of a cloud or atmosphere are hotter, then it constitutes the boundary around the volume sufficiently hot to dissociate hydrogen molecules. The boundary can have a significant impact on Opacity, thus marks a difference in cooling ability and potentially whether the gas is convective or radiative, on its cooling time, and more. In the case of Planet Formation, it is a factor in the ultimate amount of atmosphere retained by the planet.

An Ionization Front is a similar boundary between gas hot enough to remain ionized versus remaining neutral.


(hydrogen,clouds)
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1978ApJ...225..405L

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