Galaxy-Intergalactic Medium Interactions

Coordinators: Andrea Ferrara, Piero Madau, Matthias H. Steinmetz

Recent progress in the understanding of the dark matter and dark energy content of the universe has highlighted our ignorance of the evolution of baryonic matter, and its relationship with structure formation. While it was once considered nothing more than the leftovers from galaxy formation, it is now clear that the intergalactic medium(IGM), the main repository of baryons in the universe, has a complex history that is intimately tied with galaxy evolution. The formation of the first astrophysical objects had an enormous impact on the IGM, reionizing this gas, enriching it with heavy elements, and heating the regions that later collapsed into galaxy clusters. These processes strongly influenced the formation of the next generation of objects through a widespread physical network of feedback effects. Furthermore, structures observed in the IGM can be used to check the validity of the cosmic concordance model of structure formation on kpc-Mpc scales, i.e. scales that are not probed by currently envisioned microwave background experiments and large scale galaxy surveys. The main aim of this program is to make progress in understanding the physics of these complex interactions between galaxies and the intergalactic medium and the evolution of baryonic matter through cosmic time.

Galaxy-Intergalactic Medium Interactions(Conference)