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The star formation law in molecule-poor galaxies

Krumholz, Mark

Description

In this paper, I investigate the processes that regulate the rate of star formation in regions of galaxies where the neutral interstellar medium is predominantly composed of non-star-forming H I. In such regions, found today predominantly in low-metallicity dwarf galaxies and in the outer parts of large spirals, the star formation rate per unit area and per unit mass is much smaller than in more molecule-rich regions. While in molecule-rich regions the ultraviolet radiation field produced by...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorKrumholz, Mark
dc.date.accessioned2016-06-14T23:19:10Z
dc.identifier.issn0035-8711
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/102785
dc.description.abstractIn this paper, I investigate the processes that regulate the rate of star formation in regions of galaxies where the neutral interstellar medium is predominantly composed of non-star-forming H I. In such regions, found today predominantly in low-metallicity dwarf galaxies and in the outer parts of large spirals, the star formation rate per unit area and per unit mass is much smaller than in more molecule-rich regions. While in molecule-rich regions the ultraviolet radiation field produced by efficient star formation forces the density of the cold neutral medium to a value set by two-phase equilibrium, I show that the low rates of star formation found in molecule-poor regions preclude this condition. Instead, the density of the cold neutral gas is set by the requirements of hydrostatic balance. Using this result, I extend the Krumholz et al. model for star formation and the atomic to molecular transition to the molecule-poor regime. This ‘KMT+’ model matches a wide range of observations of the star formation rate and the balance between the atomic and molecular phases in dwarfs and in the outer parts of spirals, and is well suited to implementation as a subgrid recipe for star formation in cosmological simulations and semi-analytic models. I discuss the implications of this model for star formation over cosmological times.
dc.publisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
dc.rightsAuthor/s retain copyright
dc.sourceMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
dc.titleThe star formation law in molecule-poor galaxies
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume436
dc.date.issued2013
local.identifier.absfor020103 - Cosmology and Extragalactic Astronomy
local.identifier.absfor020104 - Galactic Astronomy
local.identifier.ariespublicationa383154xPUB3413
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationKrumholz, Mark, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage2747
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage2762
local.identifier.doi10.1093/mnras/stt1780
dc.date.updated2016-06-14T08:33:18Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84888212282
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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