Zooming in on CGM microphysics
Prof. Peng Oh
Department of Physics
UC Santa Barbara
Galaxy halos are fantastic laboratories for the physics of diffuse plasmas, where physical ingredients such as turbulence, magnetic fields, cosmic rays, thermal instability, and many more play out on grand scales. The results have important implications for gas inflow which fuels star formation, as well as associated feedback and recycling processes. I describe recent progress on understanding the microphysics of the circumgalactic medium via high-resolution, idealized simulations which are complementary to cosmological simulations of galaxy formation. I describe numerical experiments on the interaction between turbulence and cooling, which bears on the survival of cold clouds in galactic winds, with special attention to the resolution required for key physical processes. Cold clumps robustly have a power-law distribution in size; I will discuss some ideas on the origin of such power-law distributions.
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