University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Astronomy Seminar

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
2:00pm – 3:00pm

Storrs Campus

Dr. Christopher Faesi, University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Forest AND the Trees: Bridging the multi-scale physics of star formation

The conversion of interstellar gas into stars provides the energy, momentum, and chemical enrichment that help drive the evolution of galaxies across cosmic time. Observational limitations have previously made it difficult to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the star formation process (and its role on environment) due to the large dynamic range in scales over which it is relevant. However pioneering new observational facilities are now moving the field from case studies to big data, enabling measurements across statistically significant samples of galaxies at very high resolution. This allows us for the first time to directly investigate how the small scale (< 100 pc) physics of star formation couples to large scale (1-10 kpc) galactic dynamics and environment.

I will highlight recent and ongoing progress, as part of a major international collaboration, toward a more complete picture of star formation in the local Universe. In particular, our large sample size enables the measurement and intercomparison of important physical quantities related to star formation including gas conversion efficiency, molecular cloud densities and dynamics, and star formation timescales across multiple galactic environments. Our ongoing campaigns will be even further augmented in the near future with the advent of the James Webb Space Telescope, which will provide arcsecond-scale imaging and spectroscopy of the near and mid-infrared, two critical spectral windows for accessing star formation-related physics.


Prof. J. Trump

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

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