›2016 CAASTRO Scientific Conference: The Changing Face of Galaxies - Uncovering Transformational Physics
The Changing Face of Galaxies: uncovering transformational physics
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We invite you to Hobart, on the banks of the Derwent river in Tasmania, to consider the key physical processes which transform galaxies across cosmic time.
Fundamental to our understanding of galaxy formation is the question of how the galaxies seen at high redshift were transformed into the galaxy population we see around us today. There have been profound changes to the galaxy population in terms of both structure and activity. Structurally, galaxies are known to grow in size and change in morphological mix over time and this morphological mix is also well known to be strongly dependent on environment, with a much higher fraction of elliptical and lenticular galaxies in high density regions. Concerning activity, the global rate of star formation is seen to peak at redshift, z~1-2, declining to the present day, and it is again strongly dependent on environment. Activity due to the accretion of gas onto super-massive black holes similarly declines to the present day.
Central to tackling these problems is our ability to observe and simulate galaxies in new ways. Observationally, new projects using spatially resolved spectroscopy are able to shed light on a broad range of physical processes. At the same time observations at radio frequencies are opening up a new window on the gas content in galaxies, and large-scale multi-wavelength surveys are providing coverage of galaxies over their entire spectral energy distribution. Together with this, the last few years has seen a number of breakthroughs in galaxy simulation, including large-scale cosmological hydrodynamical simulations, new views on feedback and the construction of realistic disk galaxies. Our focus in the conference will be to bring together these different themes to discover which processes drive the transformations we see in the galaxy population.
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