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Title: The efficiency of star formation in dusty galaxies
Author: Jameson, A.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2000
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To investigate the formation and evolution of galaxies a semi-analytic approach is adopted. This is based upon the Press-Schechter formalism, which provides a simple yet very powerful method for describing the distribution of dark matter haloes. An extension to the original formalism to examine merging haloes is described and simple assumptions are made to relate the haloes to the stellar component of the galaxy. This enables luminosity functions to be constructed to calculate source counts and to describe the three-dimensional distribution of galaxies. In addition, the production of heavy elements and the history of star-formation can also be inferred. The optical and near-infrared waveband number counts and redshift distribution were examined first, as a test of the model. These wavebands have been studied extensively, particularly in the optical waveband where observations of the Hubble Deep Field have detected galaxies to very faint magnitudes. The conclusion of this analysis is that extra luminosity evolution in the form of an epoch dependent star-formation efficiency is required by the model. An appropriate empirical form for this efficiency is adopted, which was constrained by the recent submillimetre observations that describe the dusty star-forming galaxies. This enabled a good description of the observed properties of these systems over the whole millimetre to ultraviolet waveband to be produced. Finally, the efficiency of star formation inferred from the dusty submillimetre galaxies was investigated. This used a combination of the Press-Schechter formalism and the model of chemical evolution as prescribed by Pei and Fall. Using only very general assumptions about the cooling and abundance of interstellar gas, an analytic form for the efficiency was derived which was very close to the empirical form found previously. Furthermore, the method used to derive the efficiency could be generalised to include different models of galaxy formation and also provide plausible scenarios for the evolution of active galactic nuclei.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available