CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2010
 11 March 2010

11 March 2010

Speaker: Mark Krumholz (UC Santa Cruz)

Title:Understanding the Star Formation Rate

Abstract:Stars are the engines of the Universe: nuclear reactions within them are the only significant source of non-gravitational power in the cosmos and the source of all heavy elements. However, the process by which stars form remains poorly understood, and one mystery in particular stands out: why is star formation so slow? In many galaxies the bulk of the interstellar medium does not participate in star formation, and in all galaxies even those clouds that are active form stars at a rate of only ~1% of their mass per dynamical time. Any successful theory of cosmic evolution must be able to explain these facts, and be able to predict how the star formation process changes with galactic environment and over cosmological time. In this talk I discuss progress toward a physical theory of star formation capable of meeting these requirements.


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