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March 25, 20215:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CDT)

Simulating the Growth of Galaxies and Black Holes in the Early Universe


Sarah Wellons (Northwestern University)


Casey Papovich

Event Details

As techniques have improved over the last decade, observations have peered deep into the Universe’s history and begun to glimpse galaxies which formed in the first few billion years after the Big Bang.  In this talk, I will discuss galaxy formation in the early Universe from a theoretical perspective, presenting results drawn from both large-volume cosmological simulations (which allow us to compare and predict the statistical properties of galaxy populations) and high-resolution zoom-in simulations (which allow us to drill down on the physics governing individual systems).  I will focus in particular on how the varied formation and evolution pathways of massive compact galaxies present a case study on how galaxy populations evolve over time, and on the question of how to model the physical relationship between galaxies and supermassive black holes.  The advents of JWST, LSST, and WFIRST over the next decade will provide us an unprecedented view of this dynamic and exciting time in the Universe's history, so I will conclude by discussing future prospects for how high-z galaxy theory and simulation can anticipate and meet the challenges that these forthcoming observations will inevitably bring.

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