TUNA Lunch Talk:

Linda Watson

Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University

Testing the Star Formation Law in Bulgeless Disk Galaxies

December 7

12:10PM, Room 230, NRAO, Edgemont Road


Recent work has provided constraints on the physics that sets the star formation efficiency in varying environments of the interstellar medium. However, a single theory for star formation has yet to stand out among its peers. I will present results from our study of the relation between the surface density of gas and star formation rate in twenty bulgeless disk galaxies using data from the VLA, IRAM 30m, MDM, and Spitzer IRAC. The general motivation for our study is to test the predictive power of current theories with substantially improved observations of late-type and low-mass disks. We specifically study star formation and the properties of the cold and warm interstellar medium above and below a circular velocity of 120 km/s (stellar mass ~ 1010 solar masses), where Dalcanton et al. (2004) found that edge-on galaxies show an abrupt transition in their dust scale heights. I will discuss the location of our low- and high-mass galaxies on the star formation law, with a focus on the scale of physical processes that affect star formation.