Galactic Feedback and the Rise of Metals Across Cosmic Time

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 3:30pm PDT
Justin Spilker
UT Austin
Event Type: 

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One of the most important realizations of the last fifteen years is the vital role that feedback must play in the evolution of galaxies. An umbrella term for a wide variety of physical processes, feedback regulates the formation of stars on galactic scales, links the growth of galaxies with the growth of their supermassive black holes, and controls the production and distribution of heavy elements. One of the most striking manifestations of feedback are the massive outflows of gas observed in galaxies both near and far, with the result that most of the baryons and metals in the universe don't actually reside inside galaxies, but in an enormous but tenuous circumgalactic medium. I will present results from a few different projects that aim to follow the gas and metals actively being ejected into the circumgalactic medium from galaxies at distances from 5Mpc to z~7. In particular, I will show new SOFIA results with the surprising implication that galactic outflows are not metal-enriched compared to their host galaxies as expected from simulations, and results from an ALMA survey for outflows of molecular gas in massive galaxies at z > 4, finding that outflows are ubiquitous and typically clumpy in structure. These programs have broad applicability to future far-IR space missions or airborne instrumentation, which can replicate and extend these studies for galaxies throughout the universe.


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