The Evolution of Galaxies: an Infrared Perspective
Understanding the infrared emission of galaxies is critical to observational and theoretical investigations of the condensation of galaxies out of the intergalactic medium and the conversion of gas into stars over cosmic time. From an observational perspective, about half of all photons emitted within galaxies are locally absorbed by dust grains, necessitating a self-consistent analysis of the panchromatic emission of galaxies to quantify star-formation and AGN activity as a function of epoch and environment. From a theoretical perspective, physical processes involving dust are expected to play a major role in regulating the accumulation of baryons in galaxies and their condensation into stars on scales ranging from Mpc down to sub-pc. All this requires a quantitative analysis of the interaction between dust, gas and radiation. Here we review progress in the modelling of some of these processes.