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Proposing Institution

Institut für Astrophysik, ZAH, Universität Heidelberg
Project Manager

Prof. Dr. Ralf S. Klessen
Albert-Ueberele-Str. 2
69120 Heidelberg
Understanding the formation of stars together with their subsequent evolution and identifying the physical processes that govern the dynamics of the interstellar medium (ISM) are central research themes in astronomy and astrophysics. Knowledge of stellar birth is a prerequisite for deeper insights into the assembly of planets and planetary systems and for the search of our own origins. Stars and star clusters are fundamental building blocks of the galaxies we observe. Understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies, their chemical enrichment history, and their observational properties throughout the cosmic ages are key research areas in extragalactic astronomy and cosmology that also depend on a deep understanding of ISM physics.Shedding light on the fundamental physical processes that control the formation and evolution of stars at different cosmic epochs and identifying and characterizing the various feedback loops that link these together are the focal points of the research activities in the star formation group at the Center for Astronomy at Heidelberg University. It requires the accurate and simultaneous treatment of very diverse physical processes over many different scales. The formation of stars and the dynamics of the ISM can only be understood by considering self-gravity, turbulence, magnetic fields, the coupling between matter and radiation, chemical reactions, stellar feedback, cosmic rays, as well as the galactic environment consistently and simultaneously. This is a joint proposal of the star formation group at the Center for Astronomy. We identify three primary research projects, in which (1) we study the impact of radiative feedback processes on star cluster formation, (2) model ISM dynamics and star formation on galactic scales, and (3) investigate the statistical properties of the gas in high-redshift halos that will form the first generations of stars in our Universe. In addition, we aim at providing essential computational resources for all members of group to perform small to medium-size parameter studies, to develop and validate new numerical code modules, and to prepare for larger-scale highest-resolution numerical simulations on specific topics for which time at national and European supercomputing facilities will be requested in separate proposals.

Impressum, Conny Wendler