Thesis Topic: Where is the gas and dust located? Modeling the spatially resolved gas and dust tracers of galaxies at high redshifts.

Thesis Supervisor: Gergö Popping


The detection of gas and dust in galaxies over cosmic time with ALMA provides a new constraint for theorists to better understand the physical processes that ultimately control the (gas) evolution of galaxies, such as gas accretion, feedback, and star formation. Although the gas and dust reservoirs of galaxies are now routinely detected (through emission lines such as CO or the dust continuum emission), the interpretation of these detections and what they tell us about how galaxies form are still in its infancy. In the next years additional steps need to be taken to fully quantify what the mass of the interstellar medium (ISM) in galaxies over cosmic time is, what the conditions in the ISM are, and how the ISM distribution of galaxies evolves. Only after these steps are made can the detection of gas and dust in galaxies truly be used as a constraint for our theoretical understanding of galaxy formation and evolution.
This project will couple results from hydrodynamical zoom simulations with state of the art radiative transfer codes to present predictions for the dust-continuum emission of a statistical ensemble of galaxies over cosmic time. The student will particularly focus on the resolved properties of the emission, and how well this traces the actual gas and dust content of these galaxies. The student will furthermore work with the SIGAME team to help develop new models to make predictions for the CO, [CII], and atomic carbon emission of IllustrisTNG galaxies. The aim is to increase our understanding of CO and [CI] as a gas mass tracer, as well as to look at the resolved CO and [CII] properties of galaxies and their dynamics.

This project is carried out within an international team of theorists and observers based in Germany, Denmark, and the US. It is possible for the student to visit these collaborators. Depending on the interest of the student, the project can include an observational component.