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Diversity of Galactic Stellar Metallicity Gradients and their Origins

Zhuang, Yulong

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Abstract

In this thesis we use integral field spectroscopic observations, semi-analytic models and state of the art cosmological simulations to study the diverse formation and evolutionary mechanisms setting stellar population gradients in the inner regions of galaxies. We find a clear link between the shape of the radial stellar metallicity profiles and the stellar Surface mass density profiles within the inner (< 1 Re) regions of galaxies; independent of their mass (10^9 ≤ M_gal ≤ 10^12.5) or morphological type (E to Sd). The stellar metallicity profiles are well described by a Sérsic function, and we show that the Sérsic indices of the stellar mass density and metallicity profiles are tightly correlated, with nZ = 1.51 x nS ~ 0.53 and intrinsic scatter of ~ 0.25. The expected signatures of radial migration (bars, spiral arms, mergers) do not appear to correlate with the metallicity gradient strength, nor do the present-day stellar kinematics. We show with a semi-analytic chemical evolution model that the angular momentum of the infalling gas is an important factor in developing the metallicity and surface mass density correlations. Together, These results suggest that the in-situ, timeintegrated stellar mass build-up is the predominant factor setting the metallicity gradients of the inner regions of galaxies.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: van de Ven, Prof. Dr. Glenn
Date of thesis defense: 26 June 2019
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2019 07:07
Date: 2019
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Dekanat der Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie
Subjects: 530 Physics
Controlled Keywords: galaxis, Chemische Evolution
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