AuthorNarayanan, Desika T
AdvisorWalker, Christopher K
Committee ChairWalker, Christopher K
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractI investigate the emission properties of the molecular interstellar medium in protoplanetary disks and galaxy mergers, though focus largely on the latter topic. I utilize both numerical models as well as observations to relate the emission characteristics to physical models for the formation and evolution of gas giant planets and galaxies. The main results of this thesis follow. (1) Gas giant protoplanets may be detectable via self-absorption signatures in molecular emission lines with sufficiently high critical density. Given the spatial resolution of e.g. ALMA, gas giant planets in formation may be directly imageable. (2) Starburst and AGN feedback-driven winds in galaxies can leave imprints on the molecular line emission properties via morphological outflows and high velocity peaks in the emission line spectra. Methods for distinguishing between high velocity peaks driven by dynamics versus those driven by winds are discussed. (3) CO line widths on average trace the virial velocity of z ∼ 6 quasar host halos. Thus, if the earliest quasars formed in ∼1013 M ⊙ halos, they are predicted to have broad molecular line widths. Selection effects may exist which tend quasars selected for optical luminosity toward molecular line widths narrower than the slightline-dependent mean. (4) Using the SMT, I observe a roughly linear relation between infrared luminosity and CO (J=3-2) luminosity in local galaxies confirming the results of recently observed L(IR)-HCN (J=1-0) relations. Subsequent modeling shows that observed SFR-molecular line luminosity relations owe to the average fraction of subthermally excited gas in galaxies, and are simply reflective of the assumed Schmidt law governing the SFR.