Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 1991. 29: 239-274
Copyright © 1991 by . All rights reserved

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5.3 Formation Processes

Collisionless merger simulations provide important predictions for the properties of elliptical galaxies, and they need to be exploited as fully as possible. A detailed analysis of the internal structure of the resulting galaxy models as a function of initial conditions is crucial for a good interpretation of the data. Our basic hypothesis that galaxies are not evolving on a time scale smaller than the Hubble time can also be tested with these techniques.

It is clear that dissipational processes do play a role in the formation of ellipticals, and inclusion of gas dynamics, star formation, and galactic winds, etc., are needed eventually. Full modeling of this kind appears to lie far in the future, but the first attempts in this direction have shown their power already (156). This approach should be directed also toward the simulation of nearby observable phenomena, such as starburst galaxies and galactic scale winds (152). Comparisons of observations of these energetic events with detailed simulations will clarify their nature, and will also provide good tests of the numerical codes.