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The Physics of Galaxy Scaling Relations and the Nature of Dark Matter

15th July 2018 - 20th July 2018
sity, Kingston, Ontario, Canada


This symposium recognizes that the most fundamental galaxy scaling relations and structural metrics laid out in the 1970s and subsequent decades still lack a definitive physical basis. Those relations and structural "laws" include Faber-Jackson (Fundamental Plane), Freeman, Kennicutt-Schmidt, Kormendy, the MBH-Sigma relation, Navarro-Frenk-White, Tully-Fisher, and others. Short of a rigorous theoretical framework, the basic properties of these relations have even been used to single out various dark matter candidates (e.g. collisionless, self-interacting, warm) or to suggest that dark matter of any kind may not exist. In the meantime, dark matter searches in deep underground mines, such as those underway at SNOLAB in Ontario Canada, lead the way towards a precise identification of the elusive Cold Dark Matter particle. A new vision of galaxy scaling relations is emerging whereby no one single mechanism can solve all conundrums but rather where gravity and radiative forces compete on local and global scales to achieve the remarkable equilibrium observed through galaxy scaling relations. The specific nature of the dark matter may provide the ultimate key to unraveling the deepest scaling relation mysteries. This Conference will review the various physical scenarios that are being proposed to explain the existence of most galaxy scaling relations and whether these depend on universal processes of galaxy formation as well as the environment and cosmic time. While numerous applications of galaxy scaling relations exist, we specifically wish to understand why and how these relations come about. An honest discussion about the nature of dark matter and alternatives to basic (cold) dark matter models is also called for. The lifetime contributions of pioneers of galaxy scaling relations, as well as architects of dark matter models and instrumentation mavericks as they pertain to these relations, galaxy formation and the search for dark matter, will be celebrated throughout the Conference. This grand gala of extragalactic astronomy and cosmology features a fascinating blend of historical recognitions featuring central figures who have blazed our paths, as well as extensive discussions about the latest views on dark matter and the physical mechanisms that drive galaxy scaling relations.

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