On the Theory of Galactic Winds

Galactic winds are ubiquitous in most rapidly star-forming galaxies. They are crucial to the process of galaxy formation and evolution, regulating star formation, shaping the stellar mass function and the mass-metallicity relation, and enriching the intergalactic medium with metals. Although important, the physics of galactic winds is still unclear. Many theoretical mechanisms have been proposed. Winds may be driven by the heating of the interstellar medium by overlapping supernovae explosions, the radiation pressure by continuum absorption and scattering of starlight on dust grains, cosmic rays, and so on. The comparison between theory and observation is incomplete. The growing observations of emission and absorption of cold molecular, cool atomic, and ionized gas in galactic outflows in a large number of galaxies have not been well explained by any models over a vast range of galaxy parameters. A full understanding of these issues requires both better theoretical explorations and comparisons with new and existing observations. I will be taking about the theoretical models of both supernova-driven and radiation-pressure-driven galactic winds, and compared these models with observations. I will also be talking about my numerical simulations on momentum coupling between gas and radiation field in starbursts and rapidly star-forming galaxies.

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