Monday, March 18, 2013 - 11:00am
Elisabete da Cunha:
"Constraining the physical properties of galaxies from multi-wavelength observations"
Abstract. Multi-wavelength surveys of large samples of galaxies both in the local and high-redshift Universe have become widely available in recent years. To understand these observations in the framework of galaxy formation and evolution, we must be able to extract key physical parameters from their observed spectral energy distributions (SEDs). I will present MAGPHYS ("Multi-wavelength analysis of galaxy physical properties"): a physically-motivated, publicly-available model to interpret consistently the ultraviolet, optical and infrared emission from galaxies in terms of their star formation histories and dust content. The emission by stellar populations in galaxies is described using state-of-the-art population synthesis models combined with an attenuation model to account for the effect of dust in stellar birth clouds and the diffuse interstellar medium. A unique feature of our model is that the emission by dust at infrared wavelengths is computed consistently with the stellar emission using an energy balance argument. Models and observations are compared using a Bayesian method which allows for robust statistical constraints on the physical properties of observed galaxies. I will discuss some recent applications of this model to recent large statistical samples of galaxies.