Robertson, Magnasco

Brant Robertson (Harvard) gave a nice (informal) talk on the influence of black holes on galaxy formation, in the context of galaxy–galaxy mergers. His disk–disk mergers do seem to produce galaxies that look remarkably like early-type galaxies, and he finds that the feedback from black-hole accretion is extremely important. Unfortunately he has lots of parameters, many of which are going to be hard to explain. But it was very convincing that the properties of ellipticals and lenticulars are not, by themselves, a problem for the dominant paradigm of cosmogony.

Marcelo Magnasco (Rockefeller) gave an interesting talk in which the first half was about how the ear works mechanically and the second half was speculation about how it might work from an information processing point of view.

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