In the Balance: Stasis and Disequilibrium in the Milky Way
Coordinators: Jo Bovy, James Bullock and Heidi Newberg
The past few years have seen a great deal of progress in understanding the formation and evolution of the Milky Way from the standpoint of numerical simulations and observations. These advances continue to shape our understanding of the Milky Way as a galaxy and as a laboratory for cosmological models of galaxy formation. It has become abundantly clear that non-equilibrium processes in the Milky Way such as satellite interactions, bar dynamics, and spiral structure effects have shaped the present-day structure and kinematics of the Galaxy significantly. The Gaia mission is making an unprecedented map of the distribution of stars in our Galaxy and combined with an array of massive spectroscopic surveys is providing a detailed view from the scale of individual star cluster to the global structure of the disk and halo. This conference will bring together experts in the fields of galactic dynamics, chemical evolution, and numerical galaxy formation to discuss new insights from Gaia and other ongoing surveys on the chemodynamical structure of the Milky Way’s disk, bulge, bar, and halo as well as the co-evolution of these components.