Galaxy formation and evolution

Sargent, Mark T, Nagamine, Kentaro, Reddy, Naveen and Daddi, Emanuele (2016) Galaxy formation and evolution. Space Science Reviews, 202 (1). pp. 79-109. ISSN 0038-6308

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In this chapter, we discuss the current status of observational and computational studies on galaxy formation and evolution. In particular, a joint analysis of star-formation rates (SFRs), stellar masses, and metallicities of galaxies throughout cosmic time can shed light on the processes by which galaxies build up their stellar mass and enrich the environment with heavy elements. Comparison of such observations and the results of numerical simulations can give us insights on the physical importance of various feedback effects by supernovae and active galactic nuclei.

In Sect. 1, we first discuss the primary methods used to deduce the SFRs, stellar masses, and (primarily) gas-phase metallicities in high-redshift galaxies. Then, we show how these quantities are related to each other and evolve with time.

In Sect. 2, we further examine the distribution of SFRs in galaxies following the ‘Main Sequence’ paradigm. We show how the so-called ‘starbursts’ display higher specific SFRs and SF efficiencies by an order of magnitude. We use this to devise a simple description of the evolution of the star-forming galaxy population since z∼3z∼3 that can successfully reproduce some of the observed statistics in the infrared (IR) wavelength. We also discuss the properties of molecular gas.

In Sect. 3, we highlight some of the recent studies of high-redshift galaxy formation using cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. We discuss the physical properties of simulated galaxies such as luminosity function and escape fraction of ionizing photons, which are important statistics for reionization of the Universe. In particular the escape fraction of ionizing photons has large uncertainties, and studying gamma-ray bursts (which is the main topic of this conference) can also set observational constraints on this uncertain physical parameter as well as cosmic star formation rate density.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Research Centres and Groups: Astronomy Centre
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Depositing User: Mark Sargent
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2017 15:38
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2017 11:05
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