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      The Evolution of the Star-Forming Interstellar Medium Across Cosmic Time

      1 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
      Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Over the past decade, increasingly robust estimates of the dense molecular gas content in galaxy populations between redshift z = 0 and the peak of cosmic galaxy/star formation ( z ∼ 1–3) have become available. This rapid progress has been possible due to the advent of powerful ground- and space-based telescopes for the combined study of several millimeter to far-IR, line or continuum tracers of the molecular gas and dust components. The main conclusions of this review are as follows: ▪ Star-forming galaxies contained much more molecular gas at earlier cosmic epochs than at the present time. ▪ The galaxy-integrated depletion timescale for converting the gas into stars depends primarily on z or Hubble time and, at a given z, on the vertical location of a galaxy along the star-formation rate versus stellar mass main sequence (MS) correlation. ▪ Global rates of galaxy gas accretion primarily control the evolution of the cold molecular gas content and star-formation rates of the dominant MS galaxy population, which in turn vary with cosmological expansion. Another key driver may be global disk fragmentation in high- z, gas-rich galaxies, which ties local free-fall timescales to galactic orbital times and leads to rapid radial matter transport and bulge growth. The low star-formation efficiency inside molecular clouds is plausibly set by supersonic streaming motions and internal turbulence, which in turn may be driven by conversion of gravitational energy at high z and/or by local feedback from massive stars at low z. ▪ A simple gas regulator model is remarkably successful in predicting the combined evolution of molecular gas fractions, star-formation rates, galactic winds, and gas-phase metallicities.

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          Galactic Stellar and Substellar Initial Mass Function

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            Star Formation in the Milky Way and Nearby Galaxies

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              CANDELS: THE COSMIC ASSEMBLY NEAR-INFRARED DEEP EXTRAGALACTIC LEGACY SURVEY

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
                Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys.
                Annual Reviews
                0066-4146
                1545-4282
                August 18 2020
                August 18 2020
                : 58
                : 1
                : 157-203
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, 85748 Garching, Germany;
                [2 ]Departments of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
                [3 ]School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
                [4 ]Center for Computational Astrophysics, Flatiron Institute, New York, NY 10010, USA
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-astro-082812-141034
                c929e718-68cd-4896-adba-effa4d2345ac
                © 2020
                History

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