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This Symposium is hosted at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS 2012) that will take place in Rome on July 1-6, 2012.


Motivation

One of the outstanding questions in galaxy formation and evolution is how galaxies get their gas, and how that gas is transformed into stars over cosmic time. This research will undergo a major boost in the coming years, as greatly improved sensitivities of millimeter and radio facilities will be available. They will enable detailed investigations of the molecular content of high-z galaxies that are responsible for the bulk of the cosmic star formation and trace galaxy evolution out to the re-ionization epoch.

Recent observations are challenging our current understanding of galaxy formation, the emerging picture is that the evolution of the cosmic star formation rate density is largely driven by the evolution of the molecular gas content in galaxies. Studies of the complex multi-phase ISM of primeval galaxies are key to understanding the underlying physical processes. The greatly improved capabilities of existing submm-mm-radio observatories, as well as the advent of new facilities, is greatly enhancing the observational capabilities required for these studies and enable key measurements that were simply impossible so far.

This symposium will bring together experts in the field, reviewing  both the observational and the theoretical aspects of the molecular phase and of the ISM in high-z galaxies. The symposium is also expected to host many young scientists who will illustrate the most recent highlights obtained with the major facilities, such as ALMA, EVLA, IRAM, CARMA, APEX and Herschel.

The main topics to be covered by the symposium are:

  • Molecular gas and ISM tracers as unbiased tools to detect and identify high-z galaxies.
  • Evolution of the molecular gas content throughout cosmic times.
  • The star formation law and the modes of star formation at high redshift.
  • Structure, physics and dynamics of high-z galaxies inferred from tracers of the interstellar medium.
  • Interplay between star formation and black hole accretion as inferred from tracers of the interstellar medium.

These topics will be addressed both from an observational and a theoretical perspective, hence delivering the most comprehensive view of galaxy formation and evolution to date.