AGN vs star formation: the fate of the gas in galaxies

How is AGN activity connected to star formation? This remains one of the key unsolved questions in astronomy and cosmology. Both processes are efficiently driven by a cold gas supply and we therefore may expect a loose connection. However, a slew of empirical and theoretical evidence suggest an unexpectedly tight symbiotic link between AGN activity and star formation, whereby the fuelling and regulation of one process is dictated by the other. The effectiveness of this fuelling and regulation and (most crucially) whether it is predominantly dictated by AGN activity or star formation is a matter is intense debate, and has important implications for the growth of galaxies and black holes over cosmic time.

The objective of this international workshop is to bring together observers and theorists to discuss the connection between AGN activity and star formation on small (<100 pc), large (~0.1-10 kpc), and cosmological scales to address the following key questions:

  • What evidence is there for a symbiotic connection between AGN activity and star formation?
  • What physical processes drive gas into the centre/how does AGN and star formation compete for cold gas?
  • How does star formation control AGN activity?
  • What impact does AGN activity have on star formation?
  • How different would the Universe look without AGNs?
  • What key tests and observations do we need to make progress in the field?

Poster of the workshop