The Mapping and Modelling of Spiral Structure in the Milky Way : The Potential of the Interstellar Medium

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The Mapping and Modelling of Spiral Structure in the Milky Way : The Potential of the Interstellar Medium

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dc.contributor.author Summers, Lee James en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-01T08:43:42Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-21T10:12:37Z
dc.date.issued 2012-03-02 en_US
dc.description.abstract It was in 1864 that the first clues as to the nature of the space between stars were first identified in literature. These spaces became known as the interstellar medium. Any study of star formation must include an understanding of this interstellar medium (ISM) and its various component parts. Molecular clouds, dense regions of the ISM, are the sites where all known star formation is thought to occur. Hence, whenever an area containing young stars reside, it is assumed that one will also find a molecular cloud. Knowledge of these stellar birthplaces assist not only in models of stellar evolution, star formation potential, rate and efficiency - but also the ISM gives indications as to Galactic structure and the dynamics therein. Within this thesis I begin with an introduction and historical background of the field before detailing the research which was conducted. Firstly, I discuss a new model describing the spatial and kinematic structure of the Milky Way’s spiral potentials; the Perseus arm, the Outer arm and the outer Scutum-Centaurus arm and also the kinematics of the streaming motions of the gas within them. Material associated with each of these arms is then extracted. Using the models and spiral arm maps derived, I present spatially convolved maps of each spiral arm region (Perseus, Outer and Scutum-Centaurus) at a constant linear scale. By minimising the biases inherent with angular observations of our Galaxy, this presents the data as an analogue of - and as such directly comparable to - extragalactic observations of spiral structure. Finally I present a series of analyses performed on the data and models; derivation of large-scale properties of the spiral arms (i.e. identification of where the arm is unconfused with fore- and back-ground emission, scale height, velocity dispersions, arm mass); dynamical analyses of the models; molecular cloud decomposition of the constant-linear-scale-maps. The findings are then compared with those in the Galactic and extra-galactic literature. en_GB
dc.description.sponsorship STFC Funded PhD Studentship en_GB
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10036/3566 en_US
dc.language.iso en en_GB
dc.publisher University of Exeter en_GB
dc.rights.embargoreason Still in the process of publishing work contained therein. en_GB
dc.title The Mapping and Modelling of Spiral Structure in the Milky Way : The Potential of the Interstellar Medium en_GB
dc.type Thesis or dissertation en_GB
dc.date.available 2013-03-31T03:00:16Z
dc.contributor.advisor Brunt, Chris en_US
dc.publisher.department Physics en_GB
dc.type.degreetitle PhD in Physics en_GB
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en_GB
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_GB


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SummersLJ_TPC.pdf 63.64Mb PDF View/Open Full text of thesis, 3rd party copyright items removed
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