CORDIS - EU research results

Resolving Galaxy formation: Small-scale Internal physics in the Cosmological context

Final Report Summary - GALSICO (Resolving Galaxy formation: Small-scale Internal physics in the Cosmological context)

The GALSICO project has studied, through intensive numerical simulation campaigns, the evolution of galaxies and their stars across cosmic times. The new generation of numerical simulations developed in this project, carried out on the largest European supercomputers, include detailed models for the interstellar gas turbulence, the formation of new stars, their feedback on surrounding gas, and the growth of supermassive black holes. These simulations were used to prepare new observations with some of the largest observatories and compare the model predictions to real data. The project has demonstrated the key role of internal physics and interstellar turbulence, in determining the rate of star formation in galaxies and the growth of their supermassive black holes. The team has shown that galaxy collisions can lead to strong bursts of intense star formation, but these do not dominate the global budget of star formation history across cosmic times. Internal processes, in particular instabilities in young galactic disks, can also determine the morphological evolution of galaxies, like the growth of central bulges in disk galaxies.