Spectral Evolution Models for the Next Decade

Claus Leitherer


Spectral evolution models are a widely used tool for determining the stellar content of galaxies. I provide a review of the latest developments in stellar atmosphere and evolution models, with an emphasis on massive stars. In contrast to the situation for low- and intermediate mass stars, the current main challenge for spectral synthesis models are the uncertainties and rapid revision of current stellar evolution models. Spectral libraries, in particular those drawn from theoretical model atmospheres for hot stars, are relatively mature and can complement empirical templates for larger parameter space coverage. I introduce a new ultraviolet spectral library based on theoretical radiation-hydrodynamic atmospheres for hot massive stars. Application of this library to star-forming galaxies at high redshift, i.e., Lyman-break galaxies, will provide new insights into the abundances, initial mass function and ages of stars in the very early universe.

Reference: IAU Symp. 262, Stellar Populations - Planning for the Next Decade, eds. G. Bruzual & S. Charlot
Status: Conference proceedings

Weblink: http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/0910.1327

Comments: 8 pages, invited talk

Email: leitherer@stsci.edu