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Astro2020 Science White Paper: Physical Conditions in the Cold Gas of Local Galaxies

Leroy, Adam K. and Bolatto, Alberto D. and Davis, Timothy A. and Evans, Aaron S. and Harris, Andrew and Hopkins, Philip and Hughes, Annie and Indebetouw, Remy and Johnson, Kelsey E. and Kepley, Amanda A. and Koda, Jin and Meier, David and Murphy, Eric and Narayanan, Desika and Rosolowsky, Erik and Schinnerer, Eva and Sun, Jiayin and Wilson, Christine and Wong, Tony (2019) Astro2020 Science White Paper: Physical Conditions in the Cold Gas of Local Galaxies. . (Unpublished)

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We describe a next major frontier in observational studies of galaxy evolution and star formation: linking the physical conditions in the cold, star-forming interstellar medium to host galaxy and local environment. The integrated gas content of galaxies has been surveyed extensively over the last decades. The link between environment and cold gas density, turbulence, excitation, dynamical state, and chemical makeup remain far less well understood. We know that these properties do vary dramatically and theoretical work posits a strong connection between the state of the gas, its ability to form stars, and the impact of stellar feedback. A next major step in the field will be to use sensitive cm-, mm-, and submm-wave spectroscopy and high resolution spectroscopic imaging to survey the state of cold gas across the whole local galaxy population. Such observations have pushed the capabilities of the current generation of telescopes. We highlight three critical elements for progress in the next decade: (1) robust support and aggressive development of ALMA, (2) the deployment of very large heterodyne receiver arrays on single dish telescopes, and (3) development of a new interferometric array that dramatically improves on current capabilities at cm- and mm-wavelengths (~ 1-115 GHz).

Item Type:Report or Paper (White Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Leroy, Adam K.0000-0002-2545-1700
Bolatto, Alberto D.0000-0002-5480-5686
Evans, Aaron S.0000-0003-2638-1334
Harris, Andrew0000-0001-6159-9174
Hopkins, Philip0000-0003-3729-1684
Johnson, Kelsey E.0000-0001-8348-2671
Koda, Jin0000-0002-8762-7863
Meier, David0000-0001-9436-9471
Murphy, Eric0000-0001-7089-7325
Narayanan, Desika0000-0002-7064-4309
Rosolowsky, Erik0000-0002-5204-2259
Schinnerer, Eva0000-0002-3933-7677
Wilson, Christine0000-0001-5817-0991
Group:TAPIR, Astronomy Department
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190726-083708919
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97432
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Jul 2019 17:38
Last Modified:02 Jun 2023 00:56

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