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Title: A test of star formation laws in disk galaxies. II. Dependence on dynamical properties

We use the observed radial profiles of the mass surface densities of total, Σ {sub g}, and molecular, Σ{sub H2}, gas, rotation velocity, and star formation rate (SFR) surface density, Σ{sub sfr}, of the molecular-rich (Σ{sub H2} ≥ Σ{sub HI}/2) regions of 16 nearby disk galaxies to test several star formation (SF) laws: a 'Kennicutt-Schmidt (K-S)' law, Σ{sub sfr}=A{sub g}Σ{sub g,2}{sup 1.5}; a 'Constant Molecular' law, Σ{sub sfr} = A {sub H2}Σ{sub H2,2}; the turbulence-regulated laws of Krumholz and McKee (KM05) and Krumholz, McKee, and Tumlinson (KMT09); a 'Gas-Ω' law, Σ{sub sfr}=B{sub Ω}Σ{sub g}Ω; and a shear-driven 'giant molecular cloud (GMC) Collision' law, Σ{sub sfr} = B {sub CC}Σ {sub g}Ω(1-0.7β), where β ≡ d ln v {sub circ}/d ln r. If allowed one free normalization parameter for each galaxy, these laws predict the SFR with rms errors of factors of 1.4-1.8. If a single normalization parameter is used by each law for the entire galaxy sample, then rms errors range from factors of 1.5-2.1. Although the Constant Molecular law gives the smallest rms errors, the improvement over the KMT, K-S, and GMC Collision laws is not especially significant, particularly given the different observational inputs that the laws utilize andmore » the scope of included physics, which ranges from empirical relations to detailed treatment of interstellar medium processes. We next search for systematic variation of SF law parameters with local and global galactic dynamical properties of disk shear rate (related to β), rotation speed, and presence of a bar. We demonstrate with high significance that higher shear rates enhance SF efficiency per local orbital time. Such a trend is expected if GMC collisions play an important role in SF, while an opposite trend would be expected if the development of disk gravitational instabilities is the controlling physics.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)
  2. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356833
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 787; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COLLISIONS; DENSITY; EFFICIENCY; GALAXIES; GRAVITATIONAL INSTABILITY; HYDROGEN; MASS; ROTATION; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; SURFACES; TURBULENCE; VELOCITY