Institute of Astronomy

Positive feedback in galaxies

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Roberto Maiolino, Battcock Centre, Cavendish Astrophysics4 June 2015Institute of Astronomy Colloquia


During the past decade many theoretical and observational activities
have focused on the understanding of the negative feedback mechanisms
responsible for quenching star formation in galaxies.
However, recent theories have proposed that some of these mechanisms
(and in particular massive outflows) can actually also boost star formation
in galaxies.
This would be an new mode of star formation in galaxies, which would be
in addition to the "classical" star formation modes (i.e. the "quiescent" mode,
in galaxy discs, and the "starburst" mode, galaxy mergers).
Although this scenario is attracting growing interest, observational evidence
for such "positive feedback" at work has been sparse so far.
However, the elusiveness of such mechanism may simply be a consequence of
observational difficulties.
I will review the observational evidence of positive feedback obtained
so far and I will show some new results revealing that this mechanism
can actually play a major role in galaxy evolution.


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