Scientific Organising Committee

A. Cattaneo, J. Blaizot, A. Dekel, B. Guiderdoni, M. Steinmetz


The formation of galaxies is the result of the complex interaction of many different processes: the gravitational instability of primordial density fluctuations, the dissipative infall of gas to the centres of dark matter haloes, star formation and stellar evolution, stellar feedback, secular evolution, galaxy interactions, the thermal and chemical evolution of the intergalactic medium, the growth of supermassive black holes, and its impact on the surrounding gas. Observations at different frequencies trace different galactic constituents: newly formed stars (UV, Halpha line, far-infared, radio-continnum), intermediate age stars (optical), old stars (near-infrared), dust (far-infrared), atomic hydrogen (radio), molecular hydrogen (sub-mm, radio), metals (optical spectroscopy), hot gas (X-ray), and active galactic nuclei (optical, radio, X-ray). Semianalytic models of galaxy formation are an attempt to combine these different aspects into a coherent picture of galaxy formation in a cosmological context. Theoretical arguments and hydrodynamic simulations have brought a new comprehension of the way galaxies accrete and cease to accrete gas, which, once incorporated in semianalytic models of galaxy formation, has allowed us to understand the mass function, colour distribution, and stellar age - mass relation for galaxies in the local Universe. These developments have also renewed interest for some key open problems in galaxy formation: the link between stellar populations and dynamical evolution, the formation of massive star forming galaxies at high redshift, the formation of discs, and the thermal and chemical evolution of the intergalactic and intracluster medium.

The workshop Open Problems In Galaxy Formation will bring together the different perspectives of theorists and observers from all wavelengths in order to identify the outstanding problems where we can make substantial progress in the next five years, also thanks to new observing facilities such as MUSE, ALMA, and the JWST, and to promote a closer collaboration between theory and observations.