FIFI LS is a state-of-the-art astronomical instrument that will
provide crucial new spectral data for many important topics in astronomy.
Below, we list some of the fundamental questions that will be targeted
for study using FIFI LS:
studies of the interstellar medium,
star formation, and large scale structure
in nearby galaxies will provide insight
into galaxy formation and evolution.
Can we compare our galaxy, the Milky Way,
to the formation and evolution of galaxies
in our local neighborhood?
Luminous Infrared Galaxies (Active Galactic Nuclei,
Starburst Galaxies, and Merging/Interacting Galaxies):
Combining the unprecedented spatial and spectral
sensitivity of FIFI LS, we will probe the
x-ray heated gas in AGNs
(What are the physical
conditions of the Torus that obscures the nucleus?)
, the ultraviolet intensity of star formation regions in
(How do starburst galaxies evolve?)
, and the triggered star
formation in merging/interacting galaxies
(What is the role of star formation in the interacting
Low-Metallicity Dwarf Galaxies:
These systems provide a laboratory for understanding star formation
in low-metallicity environments. This type of study
is crucial for the interpretation of galaxy formation
and the evolution of the interstellar medium in the
How did the low-metallicity of the early universe
affect the formation of the early galaxies?
Extended Diffuse Halos of Galaxies:
Probing the diffuse halos of galaxies
in the far-infrared will provide a quantitative measure of the
molecular hydrogen in halos.
How much of the dark matter in galactic halos is
actually undetected molecular hydrogen?