Univ. NICE
Prof. E. Slezak
Formation & Evolution of Galaxies
(S3, elective, 6 ECTS)
Learning Outcomes:This lecture introduces the students to the part of extragalactic astronomy dealing with the formation and evolution of galaxies in aΛCDM cosmology.In order to prepare for state-of-the-art research in that domain, the focus is 1) on the intrinsic and statistical observed properties of the galaxies and clusters of galaxies; 2) on the underlying physical processes; 3) on dedicated detection techniques based on statistical detection theory. The students will detect faint high-redshift galaxies in the data of the MUSE instrument, which has been installed since 2014 on one of the 8-meter-telescopes at VLT.
Knowledge and Understanding:
The study of galaxy formation and evolution is an active and rich research area in astrophysics. It aims to provide us with a clear understanding on how the properties of each individual galaxy result from their formation mechanisms and from the various physical processes playing a role during their evolution. Many factors indeed contribute to the morphological, dynamical and chemical development of a galaxy during its hierarchical build-up from smaller entities and gas infall evidenced by theoretical simulations. This investigation implies first to characterize in great detail the intrinsic properties (luminosity, morphology, color,activity, etc.) of galaxies over a large range in lookback times in relation to their environment (field, group, cluster). One also needs to measure over cosmic time the statistical properties of the galaxy population as a whole in order to link these formation and evolution processes to the underlying evolving cosmological density field and get answers to key questions.For instance, what is the global star-formation history of the Universe or the relationship between the mass assembly of the galaxies, the interaction and merger rates, the buildup of the stellar content and the feedback processes (from stars to supermassive black hole growth) ? In such a cosmological context, galaxy clusters correspond to the largest gravitationally bound over densities and are thus unique laboratories for studying structure formation, galaxy evolution, thermodynamics of the intra-cluster medium and plasma physics.
Applying Knowledge and Understanding:Detection of the galaxies and clusters
Description of how the course is conductedLectures giving a wide overview of the large structures in the Universe.
Description of the didactic methodsPowerpoint
Description of the evaluation methodsWritten & oral exams
Adopted Textbooksnone
Recommended readingsnone