Uncovering the Physics of Formation of Globular Clusters and their Host Galaxies

Coordinators: Oleg Gnedin, Michela Mapelli, Aaron Romanowsky, and Romain Teyssier.

Globular clusters around galaxies of a vast mass range show remarkably simple scaling relations, yet the detailed physics of their origin remains elusive. The combined mass of all globular clusters is a nearly constant fraction of the total galaxy mass, but not of the stellar mass. The metallicity of massive, metal-poor clusters increases with cluster mass, while that of metal-rich clusters does not. A significant age-metallicity relation emerges but only for a particular subset of Galactic globular clusters. To help disentangle these puzzles, direct observations of young massive progenitors of globular clusters are becoming available in high-redshift galaxies.

This conference will synthesize recent observational discoveries of massive star clusters in nearby galaxies and the high-redshift universe. It will connect the observations to theoretical modeling of galaxy formation on large scales and star formation on small scales. The topics for discussion will include the efficiency of star cluster formation as a function of environment, and the origins of the cluster age and metallicity distributions. The meeting will aim to highlight the similarities and differences in star formation in low-redshift and high-redshift galaxies.