Review

From Gas to Stars Over Cosmic Time

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Science  28 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6140, 1229229
DOI: 10.1126/science.1229229

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Understanding Star Formation

Understanding how galaxies and the chemical composition of the universe evolved through cosmic time relies on unraveling the history of star formation over the universe's almost 14-billion-year history. Mac Low (p. 1229229) reviews the conditions of star formation in galaxies, focusing on the smaller-scale physics determining the conversion of gas into stars. Progress in understanding and modeling these processes and in observing galaxies at ever-earlier times are expected to lead to a convergence between model predictions and observations and to a full understanding of the cosmic history of star formation.