Evolution, Disruption, and Composition of Galactic Outflows Around Starburst Galaxies
The interaction between galaxies and the surrounding gas plays a key role in galaxy formation and evolution. Feedback processes driven by star formation and active galactic nuclei facilitate the exchange of mass and energy between the galaxy and the circumgalactic medium through inflowing and outflowing gas. These outflows have a significant impact on the star formation rate and metallicity of the galaxy. Observations of outflows have provided evidence that these outflows are multi-phase in nature, identifying both low energy ions such as Mg II and C III and high energy ions such as O VI. The underlying physics maintaining the two phases as well as the ionization mechanism for these phases remains unclear. In order to better understand galactic outflows, hydrodynamic simulations are used to study the evolution of wind-cloud interactions. In this work, I carried out a suite of magnetohydrodynamic simulations to characterize the influence of magnetic fields on the evolution and lifetime of cold clouds. I found magnetic fields either provided little improvement to cloud stability over other influences such as radiative cooling or accelerated cloud disruption by pushing cloud material in the direction orthogonal to the wind and magnetic fields. To investigate the ionization mechanism of the material within outflows I first considered estimating the column densities of various ions within wind-cloud simulations with the post-processing tool Trident. Under the assumption of ionization equilibrium, the simulations did not reproduce the observed absorption profiles demonstrating the need for a more detailed treatment of the ionization processes. I then performed a new set of simulations with the non-equilibrium chemistry solver, MAIHEM. The column densities produced in the non-equilibrium model alter the evolution of the cloud and highlight the increased ionization along the boundary of the cloud.