Sep 19, 2013
Tony Wong, University of Illinois
"The Atomic to Molecular Gas Transition in Galaxies"
Molecular gas is the direct fuel for star formation, yet in most galaxies the neutral ISM is predominantly atomic. The HI-H_2 balance is governed directly by photodissociation balance, which in turn is sensitive to the environmental conditions which determine gas density, pressure, and metal abundance. I review several recent models for how the HI-H_2 balance is set and present recent CARMA results that can be used to test them. I will finish by outlining a few projects underway for the LMC, which I will argue is the best laboratory to develop and test various approaches to measuring the gas content of galaxies and hopefully reduce the many systematic uncertainties that we still suffer from.