Institute of Astronomy

Connecting star formation to galactic dynamics

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Florent Renaud (U Surrey)28 November 2014Institute of Astronomy Galaxies Discussion Group


Recent improvements of observational and numerical techniques have
permitted to unveil the wide diversity of star forming clouds, in the
Milky Way but also in other nearby galaxies. The variety in the
morphology and dynamics of these clouds, as a function of their galactic
environment, strongly suggests a complex interplay between global
(kpc-scale) and local (pc-scale) processes, that remains to be fully
understood. The coupling between large-scale structures, turbulence,
self-gravity, magnetic fields and feedback makes this problem one of the
most challenging of modern astrophysics. Using a set of
(sub)parsec-resolution simulations of galaxies including local spirals,
mergers and high redshift disks, I will illustrate the diversity of star
formation in simulations and compare to what is observed. I will
emphasise the role of the variation of parameters within a single disk
galaxy and then explore the differences from galaxy to galaxy. I will
propose a new theory on the triggering of star formation in local
mergers and discuss its implications on the non-universality of the
stellar initial mass function. I will conclude by drawing a connection
to galaxies at higher redshifts.


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