University of Heidelberg

Talk Details

Monday, November 18, 2013 - 11:00am

Aaron A. Dutton (MPIA):

"Constraints on the Stellar Initial Mass Function and Dark Halo Response in Early-Type Galaxies from the Fundamental Plane"

Abstract. The form of the stellar initial mass function (IMF) and the response of dark matter haloes to galaxy formation are two fundamental unknowns, which are important in many areas of astrophysics. For example, the IMF is needed in order to convert observations of integrated stellar light into stellar masses and star formation rates (two fundamental parameters in galaxy evolution studies), and for modelling the supernova rates, chemical evolution, and production of ionizing photons in galaxies. Furthermore, the form of the IMF itself contains clues to the physics of star formation. The response of dark matter haloes to galaxy formation is needed in order to constrain the nature of dark matter from observations of the structure of dark matter haloes as well as for interpreting indirect dark matter detection experiments. For many years the IMF and dark halo response were thought to be universal: The IMFs of external galaxies are the same as measured in the Milky Way and dark matter haloes contract adiabatically in response to galaxy formation. However, recent observations and numerical simulations have cast doubt on these assumptions. In this talk I will show how the Fundamental Plane can be used to place constraints on the variation of the IMF and dark halo response in early-type galaxies.

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