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D. C. Smith, C. J. Struck (Department of Physics & Astronomy, Iowa State University)
This paper presents the effects of self-regulating star formation on the global structure and evolution of gas disks in late type galaxies. While feedback models have been used in the study of galaxy formation, the effects of these processes on the global structure of disks have received less attention. This paper describes efforts to use an adaptive particle-particle, particle-mesh with smoothed particle hydrodynamics code, called Hydra (from Couchman et al.), to model the global structure of late type disk galaxies with different star formation laws. We explore self-regulating mechanisms in which star formation turns on when the gas of the interstellar medium reaches a threshold density and is then turned off when the energetic new stars heat the surrounding gas, expanding it. Regulating mechanisms of this type can be implemented in a simple way with the Hydra code, allowing us to study the density and temperature profiles of the gas and the balance among the multiple thermal phases generated in the disk. We describe and compare the results of different star formation criteria and discuss the problem of resolution and how it effects which criterion will work best.