© 2015

Probing Galaxy Evolution by Unveiling the Structure of Massive Galaxies Across Cosmic Time and in Diverse Environments


Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

About this book


Awarded the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Rodger Doxsey Travel Prize, and with a foreword by thesis supervisor Professor Shardha Jogee at the University of Texas at Austin, this thesis discusses one of the primary outstanding problems in extragalactic astronomy: how galaxies form and evolve. Galaxies consist of two fundamental kinds of structure: rotationally supported disks and spheroidal/triaxial structures supported by random stellar motions. Understanding the balance between these galaxy components is vital to comprehending the relative importance of the different mechanisms (galaxy collisions, gas accretion and internal secular processes) that assemble and shape galaxies. Using panchromatic imaging from some of the largest and deepest space-based galaxy surveys, an empirical census of galaxy structure is made for galaxies at different cosmic epochs and in environments spanning low to extremely high galaxy number densities. An important result of this work is that disk structures are far more prevalent in massive galaxies than previously thought. The associated challenges raised for contemporary theoretical models of galaxy formation are discussed. The method of galaxy structural decomposition is treated thoroughly since it is relevant for future studies of galaxy structure using next-generation facilities, like the James Webb Space Telescope and the ground-based Giant Magellan Telescope with adaptive optics.


Galaxy assembly in clusters Galaxy evolution Galaxy formation constraints Galaxy formation mechanisms Galaxy formation model comparison High-redshift galaxy evolution

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

About the authors

After earning Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Astronomy at Drake University in Des Moines, IA, Dr. Tim Weinzirl came to the University of Texas at Austin to pursue graduate studies in Astronomy. While in graduate school, his research earned awards including the Rodger Doxsey Travel prize from the American Astronomical Society as well as the Outstanding Master's Thesis award from the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Weinzirl completed his PhD in Astronomy in August 2013.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Probing Galaxy Evolution by Unveiling the Structure of Massive Galaxies Across Cosmic Time and in Diverse Environments
  • Authors Timothy Weinzirl
  • Series Title Springer Theses
  • Series Abbreviated Title Springer Theses
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy Physics and Astronomy (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-06958-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-37781-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-06959-3
  • Series ISSN 2190-5053
  • Series E-ISSN 2190-5061
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 236
  • Number of Illustrations 30 b/w illustrations, 43 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site