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Interaction-Triggered Star Formation in Distant Galaxies and the Role of Mergers in Galaxy Evolution

by Lihwai Lin


The evolution of galaxy merger rates and its impact on galaxy properties have been studied intensively over the last decade. It becomes clear now that various types of mergers, i.e. gas-rich (wet), gas-poor (dry), or mixed mergers, affect the merger products in different ways. The epoch when each type of merger dominates also differs. In this talk, I review the recent progress on the measurements of galaxy merger rates out to z ~ 3 and the level of interaction-triggered star formation using large samples from various redshift surveys. These results provide insights to the importance of mergers in the mass assembly history of galaxies and in the evolution of galaxy properties. I also present new results in characterizing the environment of galaxy mergers, and discuss their implications in the built up of red-sequence galaxies.

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