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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 3517

  Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Astronomy Colloquium
The Cosmological Context of Star Formation
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Tom Quinn, University of Washington
Abstract: On the molecular cloud scale, star formation is a very complicated
process that involves gravitational collapse, radiative transfer and magnetic fields on sub-parsec scales. On the other hand, there are a number of observed relationships between star formation and galactic and cosmic environment such as star formation rate - molecular surface density relationship in disk galaxies, the stellar mass - halo mass relationship, and the evolution of the star formation rate over time.
Modeling these relationships therefore requires simulations of
enormous dynamic range and well motivated prescriptions for the star formation physics that is still unresolved. Here, I will describe techniques for capturing this dynamic range, and models for star formation and its interaction with the interstellar medium. I will also describe recent successes in understanding star formation histories as function galactic size, merger history and cosmic time.
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