Institution(s): 1. Caltech
Many of the most fundamental unsolved questions in star and galaxy formation revolve around star formation and "feedback" from massive stars. I'll present new simulations which attempt to realistically model the diverse physics of the interstellar medium, star formation, and feedback from stellar radiation pressure, supernovae, stellar winds, and photo-ionization. These mechanisms naturally and inevitably lead to 'self-regulated' galaxy and star formation, in which global correlations such as the Schmidt-Kennicutt law and the global inefficiency of star formation -- the stellar mass function -- emerge without the "tuned parameters" that have been necessary in previous studies. Within galaxies, feedback regulates the structure of the interstellar medium, and many observed properties of the ISM, star formation, and galaxies can be understood as a fundamental consequence of super-sonic turbulence in a rapidly cooling, self-gravitating medium. I will show that the apparent universality of star formation laws across different galaxy types and scales, and many properties of galactic super-winds, can simultaneously be understood as (remarkably simple) consequences of the universality of super-sonic turbulence and feedback, even though the detailed mechanisms which are responsible for the feedback are complex and distinct in different galaxies.