AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 89 Galaxy and Structure Formation
Invited, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 3:40-5:10pm, Town and Country

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[89.01] The Role of Feedback in Galaxy Formation

C. L. Martin (Univ. of California Santa Barbara)

Our understanding of galaxy formation is founded on the well-understood principle of gravitational amplification of structure but lacks the astrophysical knowledge needed to predict the properties of galaxies and small scale properties of the intergalactic medium. While gas cooling and galaxy merging are now modeled with reasonable accuracy, the complex process of gas reheating by massive stars and active nuclei is described by simple empirical "feedback" recipes. Chandra and XMM-Newton observations now provide direct imaging of this hot gas in nearby starburst galaxies; and outflow speeds -- of cooler gas entrained in hot galactic winds -- have been measured over a large range of galaxy masses and formation epochs. My talk will describe how these empirical studies help us understand the dynamics of galactic winds and discuss the consequences for the shape of the galaxy luminosity function and the enrichment of the intergalactic medium with metals.

Funding from NASA, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation made much of this work possible.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.