Fall 2012: ASTR 6000 (Astrophysics Seminar)
"Feedback from Galaxies and Quasars"

Instructor: Michael Shull

Class Meeting Times: Th (4:00 - 5:00 pm)
Duane E126 (Duane Physics & Astrophysics)

Course information (also see list of topics below)

Instructor: Contact Information

Goals of the Seminar:

To show graduate students how to critically read, evaluate, write, and referee scientific papers. Students will become familiar with frontiers of research, develop independent ideas for research, and gain experience in making effective public oral presentations at conferences, interviews, and other professional venues.

Astrophysics Seminar - "Feedback from Galaxies and Quasars"

ASTR 6000 is the graduate astrophysics seminar, tied to one or more of the astrophysics courses each semester. After an introduction to the topic by the instructor (first two meetings), the students will read, present, and discuss scientific papers on various forms of "Feedback from Galaxies and Quasars". Astrophysical "feedback" refers to the injection of mass, energy, and heavy elements produced by stars, galaxies, and quasars to the surrounding environment: ithe galactic halo, circumgalactic medium (CGM), and intergalactic medium (IGM). In this seminar, we will discuss three general categories of feedback: (1) Ionizing radiation; (2) Kinetic and Thermal Energy; and (3) Chemical Feedback (heavy elements produced by nucleosynthesis in stars). These forms of feedback play an important role in the formation of galaxies, the heating, ionization, and radiative cooling of the intergalactic medium (IGM), the metal enrichment of the circumgalactic medium (CGM), the evolution of galaxies and galaxy clusters, and the co-evolution of super-massive black holes and galaxy bulges. Feedback is also a critical, though poorly formulated ingredient in cosmological simulations of large-scale structure and the mass and luminosity distributions of galaxies.

Seminar Format:

This seminar will meet 15 times during the term, each Thursday from 4-5 pm, starting on August 30 and ending on Dec 13. After two preliminary lectures, with accompanying review papers, the class will devote the next 13 sessions to reading and discussing scientific papers. I will assign teams of 2 students to lead the discussions of the "paper of the week". Each student will be responsible for leading the discussion of two papers (2 sessions) but all students are responsible for reading the weekly paper. Please come to prepared to describe and discuss the major results of the papers. Prior to the seminar, write down one or two questions about the main points or claims in the article. In many cases, these articles will be available on-line (click on the underlined links below).

Seminar Topics & Discussion Leaders: