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Date and Time of the Query: 2019-06-15 T13:58:59 PDT
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For refcode 2011ApJ...727...97A:
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2011ApJ...727...97A Assessing Radiation Pressure as a Feedback Mechanism in Star-forming Galaxies Andrews, Brett H.; Thompson, Todd A. Abstract. Radiation pressure from the absorption and scattering of starlight by dust grains may be an important feedback mechanism in regulating star-forming galaxies. We compile data from the literature on star clusters, star-forming subregions, normal star-forming galaxies, and starbursts to assess the importance of radiation pressure on dust as a feedback mechanism, by comparing the luminosity and flux of these systems to their dust Eddington limit. This exercise motivates a novel interpretation of the Schmidt law, the L_IR_-L'_CO_ correlation, and the L_IR_-L'_HCN_ correlation. In particular, the linear L_IR_-L'_HCN_ correlation is a natural prediction of radiation pressure regulated star formation. Overall, we find that the Eddington limit sets a hard upper bound to the luminosity of any star-forming region. Importantly, however, many normal star-forming galaxies have luminosities significantly below the Eddington limit. We explore several explanations for this discrepancy, especially the role of "intermittency" in normal spirals---the tendency for only a small number of subregions within a galaxy to be actively forming stars at any moment because of the time dependence of the feedback process and the luminosity evolution of the stellar population. If radiation pressure regulates star formation in dense gas, then the gas depletion timescale is 6 Myr, in good agreement with observations of the densest starbursts. Finally, we highlight the importance of observational uncertainties, namely, the dust-to-gas ratio and the CO-to-H_2_ and HCN-to-H_2_ conversion factors, that must be understood before a definitive assessment of radiation pressure as a feedback mechanism in star-forming galaxies. Key words: galaxies: evolution, galaxies: general, galaxies: ISM, galaxies: starburst, galaxies: stellar content, stars: formation
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