Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy
College Station, Texas 77843
The Fundamental Plane (FP) is an empirical relation between the size, surface brightness, and velocity dispersion of earlytype galaxies. This relation has been studied extensively for early-type galaxies in the local universe to constrain galaxy formation mechanisms. The evolution of the zero point of this plane has been extended to high redshifts to study the luminosity evolution of massive galaxies, under the assumption of structural homology. Dr. Bezanson will assess this assumption by replacing surface brightness with stellar mass density and present the evolution of the mass FP for massive, quiescent galaxies since z~2. By accounting for stellar populations, we thereby isolate and trace structural and dynamical evolution. Despite the observed dramatic evolution in the sizes and morphologies of massive galaxies since z~3, she will show that quiescent galaxies lie on the mass FP out to z~2. In contrast with ~1.4 dex evolution in the luminosity FP, average residuals from the z~0 mass FP are less than ~0.15 dex since z~2. Therefore, despite their compact sizes and suggestions that massive galaxies are more disk-like at z~2, the relationship between their dynamics and structural properties are consistent with local early-type galaxies. Finally, Dr. Bezanson will discuss the tilt of the mass FP relative to the Virial plane.