Lunch Talk with Dr. Ferah Munshi (U of Oklahoma), Smith Faculty Candidate

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Dr. Ferah Munshi (University of Oklahoma) is a candidate for the Smith College Astronomy Dept. faculty position. Dr. Munshi will give a science talk from 12-1 in LGRT 533:

Title: What’s the (dark) matter with dwarf galaxies?

Abstract: Dwarf galaxies provide a very important and intriguing laboratory for the study of star formation and dark matter physics. I will present results from high resolution, fully cosmological simulations that contain many (isolated) dwarf galaxies [the MARVEL dwarfs] as well as satellite dwarf galaxies [the Justice League]. Together, they create the largest collection of high-resolution simulated dwarf galaxies to date and the first suite to resolve ultra-faint dwarf galaxies. In total, we have simulated 165 luminous dwarf galaxies, forming a sample of simulated dwarfs which span a wide range of physical (stellar and halo mass), and evolutionary properties (merger history). With this unprecedented, flagship suite we can statistically characterize dwarf galaxies in order to constrain both star formation and dark matter physics. I will present results answering the following key questions: What is the slope of the stellar mass function at extremely low masses? Can we use this slope to constrain dark matter model? What testable predictions can we make to constrain both dark matter and star formation at the lowest dwarf masses? Such a large suite of simulations produces a vast amount of data- this talk will also address novel data management and analysis techniques including leveraging databases and machine learning for effective and efficient data analysis.