Star Formation History of the Universe

27 July - 21 August 2015

Amy Barger, Andreas Burkert, Richard Davies, Guinevere Kauffmann

A fundamental goal of modern astronomy is to understand the formation and evolution of the galaxy
population as a whole. There has been spectacular progress towards this goal over the last 15 years,
especially with the discovery of new populations of galaxies and supermassive black holes in the distant
universe. The star formation history, or rate at which stars are born in galaxies per unit volume of the
universe, is our primary tool for studying how galaxies form and evolve over cosmic time. However, there
are still many unresolved issues.

This workshop will target galaxy evolution after the reionization period, focusing on some key topics where we think scientific discussions between leading observational and theoretical experts will lead to substantial progress.

Specifically, the goals for this workshop are:

  1. To develop a better understanding of the overlap between UV/optical and far-infrared/submillimeter selected galaxy populations at different redshifts in order to improve the determinations of the bolometric luminosities and star formation rates of massive galaxies.
  2. To examine whether there is compelling evidence for variations in the stellar initial mass function, and, in particular, whether the progenitors of the most massive galaxies require a top-heavy initial mass function.
  3. To determine the primary mechanism that controls galaxy star formation rates and its impact on galaxy structure and morphology.
  4. To probe how bulges and disks are established in galaxies and the origin of high turbulence and very clumpy substructure in high-redshift galaxies.