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TAPIR Seminar

Friday, December 4, 2020
2:00pm to 3:00pm
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Online Event
Star Formation in the Turbulent-Multiphase Interstellar Medium
Shmuel Bialy, ITC Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Theory and Computations (ITC), Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).,

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I will start with a broad review of the field of star formation and galaxy evolution, and some pressing open questions.

I will then dive into the star-forming interstellar medium (ISM), asking the question, what regulates the star formation process on galactic scales?

I will discuss the multiphase structure of the ISM, heating-cooling processes, and turbulence, all of which may play an important role in regulating star formation. 

I will focus on a particularly appealing theory in which far-UV radiation from massive stars introduces a natural self-regulation process for star-formation, and will present recent results  (Bialy 2020) for the intimate link between star-formation rate and the far-UV radiation intensity in the ISM.

I will conclude by discussing promising future directions: (1) charting new ways for constraining poorly known interstellar properties: turbulence, 3D ISM structure, the nature of low energy cosmic-rays, and (2) an ongoing effort to construct an improved star-formation model for next-generation cosmological simulations (i.e., IllustrisTNG successors).

For more information, please contact JoAnn Boyd by email at