43rd Saas-Fee Course
Star formation in galaxy evolution: connecting numerical models to reality
11-16 March 2013

Scientific Rationale

In the last few years it has become clear that the modeling of star formation and feedback processes is central in the quest to find a solution to the key problems of galaxy formation. Understanding star formation in the first place requires the ability to model a number of complex interleaved processes in the inter stellar medium, acting on scales that are not accessible in galaxy formation simulations.

The theory and numerical models of star formation have traditionally evolved independently from those of galaxy evolution, because they act at different spatial scales. Substantial step forward can only arise from the combined knowledge of the two research fields. Indeed sensible sub-grid galaxy or cosmological models, which include star formation and feedback require the physics of the interstellar medium. The numerical major techniques to solve radiation hydrodynamics coupled with gravity, such as SPH and AMR, are already common between the two fields.

The goal of this SAAS-FEE course is to give an overview of the major computational techniques used to solve the equations governing self-gravitating fluids, including radiation and magnetic fields, to make an inventory of the physical processes involved at different scales, and to see how they can be properly incorporated in the simulations.