Inferring the formation and evolution of disk galaxies from their morphology

Ivan Minchev (Astrophysical Institute Potsdam)

Galactic disks are shaped by the perturbative effect of mergers at high redshift and the bar and/or spiral arms at later times. Using numerical simulations, I will relate these agents to the formation of thick disks, extended disks, and the evolution of chemical gradients. I will show that interference among multiple spiral arms can cause the same galaxy to appear with different morphology, e.g., 2-armed, 3-armed, or 4-armed, changing within a dynamical time. Possible tests with the Galaxy Zoo database will be outlined, that would allow us to relate disk morphology to galactic formation and evolution.

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