CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2010
 13 May 2010

13 May 2010

Speaker: Reinhard Genzel (MPE)

Title: Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin Lecture:
Formation and Evolution of Massive Galactic Disks at z~1-2

Abstract:I will discuss two major programs of studying the kinematics, star formation and cold gas properties of z~1-2 massive star forming galaxies (SFGs) with spatially resolved spectroscopy. With the adaptive optics assisted, integral field spectrometer SINFONI on the ESO VLT we have studied about 100 SFGs and find compelling evidence for large, turbulent rotating disk galaxies in ~50% of the larger objects that we spatially resolve well. It appears plausible that these SFGs develop from continuous, rapid accretion of gas from their dark matter halos, and that their evolution is strongly influenced by internal, secular evolution. In a new program on the IRAM Plateau de Bure millimeter interferometer we have also detected for the first time CO 3-2 line emission in a sample of these SFGs. We find that the z~1-2 SFGs are gas rich and that their star formation properties follow a universal Kennicutt-Schmidt star formation relation that describes global star formation from z~0 to z~2. I will discuss the impact of these new observations on our understanding of galaxy evolution in the early Universe.


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