Molecular gas and dust emission add an essential piece of information in the understanding of the star formation processes. This is particularly true for the most obscured and dense star forming regions, where optical and near-IR observations suffer from a large obscuration. The last years have been particularly exciting as (sub-)mm interferometers revealed a large number of molecular lines, offering new proxies to estimate the conditions of star formation.
ALMA started observing at limited capacity in late 2011 and with gradually increased power ever since, has already revealed groundbreaking science. The recent long baseline campaign gave a taste of the nominal capabilities of this unique facility. The unprecedented resolution and sensitivity will allow us to explore with a similar level of precision, galaxies located at the peak of star formation history (z~2 where Universe was only 3 Gyr old). The timing is therefore perfect to gather on our best knowledge of star formation processes in the local Universe and discuss how to extend these techniques to the high redshift Universe making use of the unique capabilities of the new generation of interferometers such as ALMA.
- gas supply to star formation
- dynamics of molecular gas
- starbursts versus secular evolution
- nuclear star formation
- black hole/star formation feedback
- galaxy demographics