Physics Colloquium - A Magnified View of Galaxy Formation

Event Date: 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640

Event Contact: 


Tucker Jones, UCSB


Distant galaxies are difficult to study because of their small angular sizes and faint apparent brightness. I will discuss observations of gravitationally lensed galaxies which are magnified by factors of >10. The superior spatial resolution of lensed galaxies reveals a wealth of information about their physical properties and evolution during the most active period of galaxy formation, approximately 10 billion years ago.

Resolved spectroscopic data indicate that most galaxies at these times are forming stars in gravitationally unstable, turbulent disks. Their evolution is driven largely by internal processes, with feedback from star formation which regulates the distribution of gas and heavy elements.

Dedicated surveys with Keck, the Hubble Space Telescope, and other facilities are now dramatically increasing the available samples of gravitationally lensed galaxies.