Refreshments at 3:45pm, talk begins at 4pm
Tremendous progress has been made over the last decade in our empirical and theoretical understanding of how galaxies form and evolve across cosmic time. In particular, state-of-the-art cosmological simulations can not only match the large-scale statistical properties of galaxies, but they can also successfully reproduce the observed small-scale features. This success shows that the basic theoretical framework for modeling galaxy formation is on the right track. However, it appears that these models have fallen short in matching the empirical properties of diffuse gas, which constitutes 90% of all baryons in the universe, beyond visible galaxy disks and into circumgalactic space. An accurate characterization of the complex physical processes that govern the interactions between star-forming regions and this diffuse circumgalactic medium (CGM) is a critical next step toward a comphrehensive undersetanding of galaxy formation and evolution. I will highlight some of the observational efforts of my group at the University of Chicago to identify the dominant mechanisms which define the CGM properties.
Host: Rob Simcoe