Fiorenzo Vincenzo (University of Birmingham)
The chemical composition of the interstellar medium of galaxies continuously evolves as a function of time because of many environmental physical processes. Restitution of metals from dying stars, astration of metals due to the star formation activity, gas inflows and outflows, radial mixing of both gas and stars are all fundamental mechanisms which drive the chemical evolution of galaxies. Starting from the observed present-day chemical abundances in the stars and interstellar medium, chemical evolution models aim to reconstructing the past chemical enrichment history of galaxies, in a typical “astro-archaeological” approach. In the first part of the talk, I will introduce the basic concepts behind chemical evolution models and present my original contribution in the foundations of this field. In the second part, I will show how cosmological hydrodynamical simulations can be effectively used to study the evolution of the radial (gas-phase and stellar) C, N and O chemical abundance gradients in galaxies, presenting also new results from high-resolution zoom-in simulations, where a target galaxy is selected at low redshift from a reference large-scale cosmological simulation and then re-simulated with a larger number of resolution elements, starting from the initial conditions of the early Universe. Finally, I will present some preliminary results from the chemodynamical simulation of a Milky Way-like galaxy, that we have developed to characterise the different chemical evolution histories of the thin and thick disc stellar components of our Galaxy.