The Fundamental Metallicity Relation of Galaxies
Although the name 'fundamental metallicity relation' (FMR) may sound a bit bombastic, it really represents a fundamental relation in the sense of revealing a fundamental process in galaxy formation. Numerical simulations predict that accretion of cosmic web gas feeds star formation in star-forming galaxies. However, this solid theoretical prediction has been extremely elusive to confirm. The FMR, i.e., the fact that galaxies of the same stellar mass but larger star formation rate (SFR) tend to have smaller gas-phase metallicity (Zg), is one of the best observational supports available yet. The talk will introduce the FMR and then present recent results of our group showing how the FMR emerges from a local anti-correlation between SFR and Zg existing in the disks of galaxies. Thus, understanding the FMR is equivalent to understanding why active star-forming regions tend to have low relative metallicity. The existence of the local anti-correlation SFR-vs-Zg is found by Sanchez-Menguiano+19 ApJ and Sanchez Almeida+18 MNRAS, whereas the equivalence between local and global laws is in Sanchez Almeida & Sanchez-Menguiano 19 ApJL.
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