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Exploring the properties of star forming galaxies with observations and models

Friday 2nd March 2018 - 8:00pm
Topic: Exploring the properties of star forming galaxies with observations and models
Speaker: Professor Elizabeth Watkins, University of Warwick
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: Observations of star-forming galaxies in the distant Universe (z > 2) are starting to confirm the importance of massive stars in shaping galaxy emission and evolution. The intense starbursts are common at high redshift, and rare but identifable in local analogue populations. Understanding these populations, and their evolution with age and heavy element content is likely to be key to interpreting processes such as supernova and gamma-ray burst rates, cosmic reionization and the chemical enrichment of the Universe through galaxy-scale winds. It can even be important for the history of habitability on galaxy scales. One avenue of exploring these populations is through the study of local galaxies which share the star formation properties of the distant Universe. A second, overlapping, approach is through modelling. Distant stellar populations are unresolved, and the limited data available must be interpreted in the context of stellar population models. With the imminent launch of JWST and the promise of observations of galaxies within a billion years of the Big Bang, the uncertainties in modelling massive stars are becoming increasingly important to our interpretation of the high-redshift Universe. In turn, these observations of distant stellar populations will provide ever stronger tests against which to gauge the success of, and flaws in, current massive star models.
Biography: Professor Watkins is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Physics at the University of Warwick. Her research interests include Lyman Break Galaxies at High Redshift, Local Analogues to z=5 LBGs, Molecular Gas and Dust at High Redshift, GRBs and GRB Host Galaxies and Spectral Synthesis Including Massive Binaries.

Event Date: 
Friday, 2 March, 2018 - 20:00
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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