A Caltech Library Service

Dynamical Properties of z ~ 2 Star-forming Galaxies and a Universal Star Formation Relation

Bouché, N. and Cresci, G. and Davies, R. and Eisenhauer, F. and Förster Schreiber, N. M. and Genzel, R. and Gillessen, S. and Lehnert, M. and Lutz, D. and Nesvadba, N. and Shapiro, K. L. and Sternberg, A. and Tacconi, L. J. and Verma, A. and Cimatti, A. and Daddi, E. and Renzini, A. and Erb, D. K. and Shapley, A. and Steidel, C. C. (2007) Dynamical Properties of z ~ 2 Star-forming Galaxies and a Universal Star Formation Relation. Astrophysical Journal, 671 (1). pp. 303-309. ISSN 0004-637X.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present the first comparison of the dynamical properties of different samples of z ~ 1.4-3.4 star-forming galaxies from spatially resolved imaging spectroscopy from SINFONI/VLT integral field spectroscopy and IRAM CO millimeter interferometry. Our samples include 16 rest-frame UV-selected, 16 rest-frame optically selected, and 13 submillimeter galaxies (SMGs). We find that rest-frame UV and optically bright (K < 20) z ~ 2 star forming galaxies are dynamically similar, and follow the same velocity-size relation as disk galaxies at z ~ 0. In the theoretical framework of rotating disks forming from dissipative collapse in dark matter halos, the two samples require a spin parameter <λ> ranging from 0.06 to 0.2. In contrast, bright SMGs (S_(850) μm ≥ 5 mJy) have larger velocity widths and are much more compact. Hence, SMGs have lower angular momenta and higher matter densities than either the UV or optically selected populations. This indicates that dissipative major mergers may dominate the SMGs population, resulting in early spheroids, and that a significant fraction of the UV/optically bright galaxies have evolved less violently, either in a series of minor mergers, or in rapid dissipative collapse from the halo, given that either process may leads to the formation of early disks. These early disks may later evolve into spheroids via disk instabilities or mergers. Because of their small sizes and large densities, SMGs lie at the high surface density end of a universal (out to z = 2.5) "Schmidt-Kennicutt" relation between gas surface density and star formation rate surface density. The best-fit relation suggests that the star formation rate per unit area scales as the surface gas density to a power of ~1.7, and that the star formation efficiency increases by a factor of 4 between non-starbursts and strong starbursts.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Genzel, R.0000-0002-2767-9653
Lehnert, M.0000-0003-1939-5885
Lutz, D.0000-0003-0291-9582
Tacconi, L. J.0000-0002-1485-9401
Daddi, E.0000-0002-3331-9590
Renzini, A.0000-0002-7093-7355
Erb, D. K.0000-0001-9714-2758
Shapley, A.0000-0003-3509-4855
Steidel, C. C.0000-0002-4834-7260
Additional Information:© 2007 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 March 21; accepted 2007 July 28. We are grateful to the staff of Paranal Observatory for their support, and the SINFONI team for their hard work on the instrument that has made this research possible. We also thank the SMG team, A. Blain, F. Bertoldi, S. Chapman, P. Cox, T. Greve, R. Ivison, R. Neri, A. Omont, and I. Smail. We acknowledge useful discussions with A. Burkert, A. Dekel, T. Naab, and E. Quataert. N. M. F. S. acknowledges support by the Priority Programme 1177 of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschatt. We thank the anonymous referee for his/her critical comments that led to an improved manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)Priority Programme 1177
Subject Keywords:cosmology : observations; galaxies : evolution; infrared : galaxies
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20091029-090949441
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Dynamical Properties of z ~ 2 Star-forming Galaxies and a Universal Star Formation Relation N. Bouché, G. Cresci, R. Davies, F. Eisenhauer, N. M. Förster Schreiber, R. Genzel, S. Gillessen, M. Lehnert, D. Lutz, N. Nesvadba, K. L. Shapiro, A. Sternberg, L. J. Tacconi, A. Verma, A. Cimatti, E. Daddi, A. Renzini, D. K. Erb, A. Shapley, and C. C. Steidel 2007 ApJ 671 303-309 doi: 10.1086/522221
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16516
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Nov 2009 17:50
Last Modified:04 Dec 2019 23:37

Repository Staff Only: item control page