Toward a Holistic View of Star Formation

Abstract: Our general picture of the process of forming stars from molecular clouds has held together quite well for the past few decades, but a detailed, predictive theory of star formation remains frustratingly out of reach. What determines the clustering of newborn stars? What sets the efficiency of mass conversion from gas into stars? How do molecular clouds begin and end their star-forming lives? The answers to these questions have profound impacts on our understanding of other phenomena in the universe, from the formation of galaxies to the formation of planets. I will present some recent results from several large IR to millimeter continuum surveys of star-forming clusters, molecular clouds, and the inner Milky Way from Spitzer, Herschel, APEX, and the newly commissioned Large Millimeter Telescope that tackle these questions. The sensitivity, size, and resolution of these surveys are opening new star-forming environments to detailed, holistic characterization with unprecedented statistical sampling across a range of evolutionary states.

Cody Hall

Rob Gutermuth (UMASS Amherst)

February 12, 2016
14:00 - 15:00