University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Physics Colloquium

Friday, October 4, 2019
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Storrs Campus
BPB 131

Dr. George C. Privon, Department of Astronomy, University of Florida

Gas as a Tracer and Driver of Galaxy Evolution

Nearby galaxies exhibit a diverse range of properties, from low-metallicity star-forming dwarfs through the merger-triggered compact starbursts in ultraluminous infrared galaxies. This provides a variety of laboratories to probe the physics of star formation across a wide range of physical conditions. Molecular and atomic interstellar medium (ISM) tracers probe the conditions of star forming gas as well as the impact star formation has on its surroundings. Understanding the physical drivers of emission from these ISM tracers is thus critical to understanding the physics of star formation. I will discuss our understanding of so called "dense gas" tracers in starburst galaxies and how these can probe the physical conditions of star formation. I will also describe an optical integral field spectroscopy program on dwarf galaxy pairs aimed at understanding how hierarchical formation drives star formation in low-metallicity, high gas fraction systems. Finally, I will describe ongoing efforts to leverage detailed galaxy evolution simulations to make direct comparisons with observations; applications include interpretation of ISM tracers as well as age-dating galaxy mergers and constraining their dynamical evolution. These studies provide new insights into the interpretation of molecular gas tracers and signs of intriguing behavior in merger-driven starbursts within high gas fraction galaxies.

Cookies will be served prior to the talk, at 3:00 p.m. in Room Gant South 117


Prof. Cara Battersby

Physics Department (primary), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UConn Master Calendar

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