Physics Colloquium - The Wondrous Lives of Massive Galaxies

Event Date: 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640

Event Contact: 

Speaker:

Robert Feldmann, Hubble Fellow Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley

Abstract:

The properties of massive galaxies at z~2-3, merely a few billion years after the Big Bang, continue to challenge current models of galaxy evolution. Feedback processes from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are often invoked to explain the low levels of on-going star formation in these galaxies. I will present a new generation of high resolution cosmological simulations that reproduce the properties of massive galaxies without resorting to feedback from AGNs. Within this context I will focus on the evolution of global galaxy properties, especially on how these galaxies grow in mass and size. I will also discuss the mechanisms that reduce the level of star formation in massive galaxies and highlight the link between gas accretion from the cosmic web, star formation, and the formation history of dark matter halos.