IAU Symposium Abstract S186-066T

Gas Dynamics in Mergers

C. Mihos1
1 Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA (hos@pha.jhu.edu)

Interaction-driven inflows of gas are highly dependant on a number of factors, including the interaction strength, the structure of the host galaxy, and the evolutionary phase of the encounter. Numerical simulations allow us to isolate these different factors and examine the onset and strength of inflows under a variety of conditions. The differing criteria for local and global instabilities in the gas suggest that the spatial distribution of interaction-induced star formation may also be a strong function of galaxy type, with LSB or bulge-dominated systems having more spatially extended star formation than high surface brightness late-type spirals. The stability of galaxies against inflows also has an important affect on the mixing of stellar populations in merger events.