CCA Colloquium: Kate Daniel
Title: Resonant Evolution: The internal dynamical history of the Milky Way
Abstract: Dynamical resonances are essential to the evolution of disk galaxies. These resonances arise in the presence of massive structures, like Giant Molecular Clouds, spiral patterns and satellites, acting to reshape a galaxy as they diffuse, shepherd and rearrange stellar populations. Until recently, many of the signatures that would reveal the past dynamical evolution of the Milky Way have been obscured, limited by observational uncertainties and simulation resolution. We are now entering a new era, rich with high precision chrono-chemodynamic (kinematic, chemical, and age) data. Current and upcoming observatories and surveys are revealing complex post-resonant structures in this multidimensional space and opening exciting opportunities to reconstruct the dynamical history of the Milky Way. Many of these phenomena are reproduced in specialized and high-resolution simulations, where additional trends arise when exploring galaxies that occupy a range of parameter space. There is an ongoing need to further develop the theoretical framework necessary to interpret this flood of high precision data. In this talk, I will demystify the physics that governs various resonant phenomena in disk galaxies. I will then discuss a few case studies that demonstrate how an analytic approach to resonant dynamics can inform the interpretation of observed and simulated data and build a bridge between then. Finally, I will describe current and future transformative science that is emerging from this interdisciplinary approach.