University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Astrophysics Seminars > The quenching of star formation in massive galaxies

The quenching of star formation in massive galaxies

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Our knowledge of galaxy formation and evolution has steadily increased over the last two decades and we now have a good idea of the major processes at work in shaping the galaxy population we observe. However, some rather basic questions have persisted across this time and even now remain largely unanswered. In particular, which of the many possible mechanisms are primarily responsible for terminating star formation in massive galaxies, and why is a lack of star formation so tightly correlated with a galaxy’s morphology? Current observations of the properties and statistics of galaxy populations can be explained in a number of ways, each invoking different processes to differing degrees with no single solution being clearly superior. Survey astronomy is in the early stages of a revolution in scale, in the shape of the Dark Energy Survey (DES), Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and others. I will briefly review our current understanding of why galaxies switch off their star formation, highlight the importance of understanding subtle correlations in galaxy properties, such as galactic conformity, and discuss the challenges and promise in harnessing the power of these new cosmology experiments to answer the long-standing question of the quenching of star formation.

This talk is part of the Astrophysics Seminars series.

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