Colloquium

From Galaxies to Galaxy Clusters: the Many Scales of MHD Turbulence

Magnetic fields and turbulence are vital components of many galactic and intergalactic physical processes. These include cosmic ray and heat transport, structure formation in the ISM, and star formation. I will highlight exciting recent progress in our understanding of plasma turbulence across many scales in the universe using simulations, theory, and observations. At parsec scales in the ISM I will show how new techniques for comparing observations with MHD simulations have increased our understanding of the magnetic fields' role in star formation. I will then discuss the origins of turbulence in galaxies on kiloparsec scales via feedback and gravitational instability, and how turbulence is connected to galaxy evolution, in particular, the global star formation rate and gas accretion history. Finally, on megaparsec scales in the intergalactic medium, I will demonstrate that feedback and turbulence have a measurable effect on the low redshift Lyman-alpha forest, which can help us better constrain feedback models for future cosmological simulations.

Followed by wine and cheese in Pupin 1332.

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