FIFI LS FIFI LS Science Goals

What we plan on doing with FIFI LS

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:
  • Nearby Galaxies: Detailed morphological 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 starburst galaxies (How do starburst galaxies evolve?) , and the triggered star formation in merging/interacting galaxies (What is the role of star formation in the interacting region?) .
  • 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 early Universe. 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?
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