29 March 2012
29 March 2012
Speaker: Phil Hopkins (UC Berkeley)
Title:Star Formation, Black Holes, and Feedback in Galaxy Formation
Abstract:Many of the most fundamental unsolved questions in star and galaxy formation revolve around star formation and "feedback" from both massive stars and accretion onto super-massive black holes. The combination of models with realistic gas and feedback physics have led to huge shifts in our understanding of when and how galaxies grow, where stars form within them, and what their ultimate fate will be. I'll review the current status of our understanding of these feedback processes, and present new models which attempt to realistically model the ISM, star formation, and feedback from stellar radiation pressure, supernovae, and photo-ionization, and their interplay with feedback from luminous quasars. These mechanisms lead to 'self-regulated' galaxy and star formation, in which global correlations such as the Schmidt-Kennicutt law, the BH-host galaxy correlations, and the global inefficiency of star formation emerge naturally. I'll discuss how, within galaxy disks, feedback regulates the structure of the ISM, the collapse of dense gas into star-forming cores, and black hole accretion rates. But feedback also produces galactic super-winds that can dramatically alter the cosmological evolution of galaxies, their behavior in galaxy mergers, and structure of the inter-galactic medium. I'll highlight how a combination of improved theoretical models and observations can elucidate the physical processes driving these phenomena.
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