Probing the mass, structural, statistical, and environmental evolution of massive galaxies

Astronomy Unit Seminars
Dr Francesco Shankar (U. Southampton)
Richard Nelson
March 20th, 2015 at 14:30
GO Jones Room 610

One of the most important, but still highly debated, issues in contemporary cosmology, is the formation and evolution of massive spheroidal galaxies. Extensive semi-analytic galaxy formation models (SAMs), still debate whether mergers have played a major role in the assembly of ellipticals, or other ``in-situ'' processes, such as strong, dissipative early bursts of star formation, and/or clumpy accretion, have played an equally important role. In this talk, I will discuss the global evolution of massive spheroids, adopting hierarchical state-of-the-art SAMs, as well as advanced semi-empirical models.
In particular, I will discuss the predicted shape, normalization, scatter, and environmental dependence of the local size-stellar mass relation for massive early-type galaxies.
I will then move on discussing the role of progenitor bias and environment in the overall structural evolution of massive galaxies. I will conclude with the additional constraints obtainable from lensing measurements on the global profile of galaxies.