Document Type

Journal Article

Role

Author

Standard Number

0004-637X

Journal Title

Astrophysical Journal

Volume

681

Issue

2

First Page

L77

Last Page

L80

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between the star formation rate (SFR) and dense molecular gas mass in the nuclei of galaxies. To do this, we utilize the observed 850 μm luminosity as a proxy for the infrared luminosity (LIR) and SFR, and we correlate this with the observed CO(J = 3–2) luminosity. We find tentative evidence that the LIR-CO(J = 3–2) index is similar to the Kennicutt-Schmidt (KS) index (N ≈ 1.5) in the central ~1.7 kpc of galaxies, and it flattens to a roughly linear index when including emission from the entire galaxy. This result may imply that the volumetric Schmidt relation is the underlying driver behind the observed SFR-dense gas correlations, and it provides tentative confirmation for recent numerical models. While the data exclude the possibility of a constant LIR-CO(J = 3–2) index for both galaxy nuclei and global measurements at the ~80% confidence level, the considerable error bars cannot preclude alternative interpretations.

Faculty Start Year

2013

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