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Title: Probing molecular gas and its physical conditions in disc galaxies
Author: Topal, Selçuk
ISNI:       0000 0004 6063 2886
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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New observations of multiple molecular gas tracers in nearby early- and late-types galaxies are presented and are used to study the physical conditions of the gas within different morphological structures. The CO Tully-Fisher relation is also constructed for a sample of star-forming galaxies at z = 0:05 - 0:3, probing their mass and size evolution. First, using single-dish observations of multiple locations within the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 6946, extensive CO ladders are generated. The molecular line ratios reveal a large variety of physical conditions across the molecular gas complexes, depending primarily on the presence of current or recent star formation, itself compared with that in the centre of the galaxy and other galaxies. Second, interferometric observations of CO and high density molecular tracers in the nearby edge-on early-type galaxies NGC 4710 and NGC 5866 are presented. The gas kinematics reveals that the galaxies are barred, with most of the gas contained within a nuclear disc and a distinct inner ring. Using the molecular line ratios to probe the physical conditions of the gas, the nuclear discs appear to have a more diffuse and hotter molecular medium than the inner rings, with more embedded dense clumps. This suggests that the conditions in the nuclear discs are similar to those in photo-dissociation regions, with intense UV radiation from young stars and few cosmic rays. Indeed, the observed molecular line ratios are also intermediate between those of spiral galaxies and starbursts, with even milder star formation in the inner rings. Third, homogeneously measuring the line widths in the CO spectra of star-forming disc galaxies at z = 0:05 - 0:3, their Ks-band CO Tully-Fisher relation is constructed. A comparison to local star-forming galaxy TFRs from the literature provides mild evidence that our sample galaxies are ≈ 0:89 mag brighter than local ones at a given rotational velocity, a result entirely consistent with our stellar mass TFR, suggesting that our sample galaxies are more massive than local ones by ≈ 0:35 dex. While they deserve further scrutiny, we suspect that these results are due to our sample galaxies being more heavily star-forming (and thus brighter at a given mass) than the comparison sample galaxies.
Supervisor: Bureau, Martin Sponsor: Ministry of National Education ; Republic of Turkey
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available