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Physics & Astronomy Colloquium – Spring 2019 – Lee
April 10, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Duane Lee (MIT)
Abstract: A key focus of galactic astronomy is to determine and understand the formation and evolution of all nearby galaxies (including our own Milky Way)—those galaxies where we can obtain information on their individual stars. The best source of data on individual stars in galaxies is their spectra as they encode the chemical makeup of the stars and, by extension, a chemical signature of their local birth environments. In my talk I will present my current work on making novel connections between the star formation efficiency (a measure of how well galaxies are at making stars given the gas available to them) and other galactic evolution parameters in different galaxy types and environments to their chemical abundances in stars using their Strontium (a “normal” core-collapse supernova tracer) and Europium (r-process source tracer) elemental abundance measurements. In addition, I will show how this mapping can be used to distinguish and constrain Europium yields from “normal” CCSNe and “rare” collapsars versus neutron star merger enrichment.