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Astro Seminar

Dense gas and star formation in nearby starburst galaxies with ALMA

Speaker: Chris Wilson (McMaster)
Date: Wednesday 15 July 2020
Time: 15:00
Venue: Zoom

With its high sensitivity, excellent angular resolution, and wide spectral coverage, ALMA is revolutionizing our view of galaxies in the nearby universe. ALMA is particularly important for studying the dense molecular gas that is the fuel for star formation. Radio continuum emission from ALMA is also an important measure of the star formation rate, particularly in galaxies with high visual extinction such as starburst galaxies and luminous infrared galaxies. Finally, the ALMA archive contains an ever-growing collection of data that can be mined and combined to produce large samples of targets that can match or exceed the amount of observing invested in a single ALMA large program. I will describe our work on the link between dense gas and star formation for a sample of 9 nearby galaxies from the ALMA archive, which includes measuring the resolved Kennicutt-Schmidt star formation law at extreme star formation rate surface densities and identifying a new molecular line that appears to be an excellent tracer of the densest star forming gas.