Molecular Gas and Star Formation in Galaxies

Prof. Jean Turner

Abstract

    The development of millimeter-wave array telescopes has made it possible to study gas and star formation in galaxies beyond the Milky Way. Dense gas is the fuel for star formation, and it can be mapped via its emission lines of molecules such as carbon monoxide. The dynamics, excitation and chemistry of the gas can be studied in a range of galactic environments, including galactic nuclei and starbursts. What facilitates and regulates star formation in galaxies? How does star formation shape galactic structure? I discuss recent results from the Submillimeter Array, and the potential for future discoveries with the Atacama Large Millimeter-Submillimeter Array (ALMA).

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