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How feedback shapes the galaxy stellar mass function

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Michele Trenti.

Cosmological simulations of galaxy formation have come a long way towards producing a population of galaxies that is similar in many aspects to the observed population. We understand how the dark matter haloes that host galaxies form and evolve, and how gas cools inside these haloes to grow discs that fragment into stars. However it is clear that feedback from stars, probably in the form of energy injected by supernovae, plays a crucial role in shaping galaxies. For massive galaxies, energy injected by super massive black holes may play an equally important role. These processes are challenging to model due to the large range in time and length scales involved.

I will present some results from two suites of hydrodynamical cosmological simulations, called Gimic and OWLS , and show how our modelling of feedback results in realistic looking galaxies. The simulations also allows us to examine other aspects of structure formation, for example the relation between gas and galaxies. I will also point to limitations of these models, and conclude with some preliminary results of a new suite of simulations called Eagle.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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