Cosmological giants and elves: galaxy formation and the small scale of cold dark matter
I will review the status of our understanding of galaxy formation in the prevailing cold dark matter paradigm. After reviewing the successes and failures of the most natural predictions of this scenario I will focus on the consequences of two of its main predictions: the presence of large numbers of low-mass dark matter halos and the prevalence of accretion events during the formation of normal galaxies. In particular, I will discuss the interpretation of the recent discovery of a population of ultra-faint galaxies in the Local Group, and its relation to the profuse cold dark matter substructure expected in the Galactic halo. I will also discuss the importance that accretion events might have had in shaping not only the stellar halo but also the disk component(s) of the Milky Way.
About the talk
University of Victoria, Canada