Discussion: Star Formation Within Galaxies
M.S. Oey & C. Muñoz-Tuñón
This Discussion session focused on star formation within galactic
scales. We attempt to identify the dominant physical processes and
parameters that characterize star formation, and to identify key
questions that illuminate these phenomena. The Discussion was
delineated by the following cycle of three questions: (A) Is the top
of the HII LF physically distinct? (B) How does massive star
feedback affect the ISM and star formation? (C) How do ISM
properties affect the HII LF? Finally, is one of these three
questions the fundamental one of the cycle?
Corresponding answers emerged from the Discussion: (A) The HII LF
to date is a continuous power law; (B) There are both positive and
negative feedback effects, which are poorly understood; (C) The HII
LF appears remarkably independent of ISM properties. Therefore, we
suggest that the resultant fundamental question is: "Is the HII
LF and parent stellar cluster membership function universal?" This
is analogous to the related question of a universal stellar IMF.
Understanding the relationship, if any, between the IMF,
cluster membership function, and ISM properties may finally lead to a
quantitative theory of star formation.
2003, in Star Formation Through Time,
eds. E. Pérez, R. González Delgado, & G. Tenorio-Tagle
(San Francisco: ASP), 61.