Matching the observed star formation intensity distribution with empirical laws

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Abstract

This Letter matches the shape of the star formation intensity distribution function to empirical laws such as the Schmidt law. The shape of the distribution at a redshift of 1 is reproduced from the empirical Schmidt law with a critical density, a Schechter distribution of galaxy masses, and the assumption that star formation occurs mainly in exponential disks. The shape of the distribution depends primarily on two values: the characteristic mass m* in the Schechter mass distribution and the characteristic radius r e in the exponential disk. As these characteristic values evolve, they will affect the shape of the distribution function. The expected direction of evolution of the parameters partially cancel each other, leaving the distribution shape relatively invariant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L85-L88
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume581
Issue number2 II
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 20 2002

Keywords

  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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