Space Science Reviews

, Volume 202, Issue 1–4, pp 79–109 | Cite as

Galaxy Formation and Evolution

  • Kentaro NagamineEmail author
  • Naveen Reddy
  • Emanuele Daddi
  • Mark T. Sargent


In this chapter, we discuss the current status of observational and computational studies on galaxy formation and evolution. In particular, a joint analysis of star-formation rates (SFRs), stellar masses, and metallicities of galaxies throughout cosmic time can shed light on the processes by which galaxies build up their stellar mass and enrich the environment with heavy elements. Comparison of such observations and the results of numerical simulations can give us insights on the physical importance of various feedback effects by supernovae and active galactic nuclei.

In Sect. 1, we first discuss the primary methods used to deduce the SFRs, stellar masses, and (primarily) gas-phase metallicities in high-redshift galaxies. Then, we show how these quantities are related to each other and evolve with time.

In Sect. 2, we further examine the distribution of SFRs in galaxies following the ‘Main Sequence’ paradigm. We show how the so-called ‘starbursts’ display higher specific SFRs and SF efficiencies by an order of magnitude. We use this to devise a simple description of the evolution of the star-forming galaxy population since \(z \sim3\) that can successfully reproduce some of the observed statistics in the infrared (IR) wavelength. We also discuss the properties of molecular gas.

In Sect. 3, we highlight some of the recent studies of high-redshift galaxy formation using cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. We discuss the physical properties of simulated galaxies such as luminosity function and escape fraction of ionizing photons, which are important statistics for reionization of the Universe. In particular the escape fraction of ionizing photons has large uncertainties, and studying gamma-ray bursts (which is the main topic of this conference) can also set observational constraints on this uncertain physical parameter as well as cosmic star formation rate density.


Galaxies Galaxy formation Galaxy evolution Star formation Cosmology Metallicity Numerical simulations 



The authors would like to thank the organizers of the workshop “Gamma-Ray Bursts: A Tool to Explore the Young Universe”, and in particular Emeric Le Floc’h, for inviting us to discuss the subject in this chapter. K. Nagamine acknowledges the partial support by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 26247022, the HST grant AR-12143.01-A provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26555.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Theoretical Astrophysics, Department of Earth and Space Science, Graduate School of ScienceOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Physics & AstronomyUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  3. 3.Department of Physics & AstronomyUniversity of California, RiversideRiversideUSA
  4. 4.CEA SaclayDSM/Irfu/Sérvice d’AstrophysiqueGif-sur-Yvette CedexFrance
  5. 5.Astronomy Centre, Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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