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Physics and Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium

3:30 PM, Friday, December 9, 2011
Room 155, Chem-Phys Building

Dr. Nick Gnedin
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
The University of Chicago

"WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW YET ABOUT STAR FORMATION IN GALAXIES''

I will discuss the key physical processes that control the atomic-to-molecular gas transition in the interstellar medium, and the effect that transition has on star formation in galaxies. The interplay between radiation field and gas dynamics leads to novel, previously undiscovered feedback processes in galaxy evolution, that are potentially more important than the supernova feedback. I will discuss advanced cosmological numerical simulations that incorporate all these effects self-consistently. Based on such simulations, I will illustrate that the nature stubbornly ignores our feeble attempts to understand how stars in normal galaxies actually form.

Refreshments will be served in CP 179 at 3:15 PM