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Hi! I’m Yu-Hsuan (Eltha) Teng.

I am a Physics PhD Candidate at University of California San Diego, working at the Astronomy & Astrophysics Department. Starting October 2024, I will join the University of Maryland as a postdoctoral associate. Previously, I received my master’s degree in Physics and bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University. I am broadly interested in star formation, interstellar medium, galactic nuclei, and their roles in driving galaxy evolution.

My current research with Prof. Karin Sandstrom and the PHANGS collaboration focuses on molecular gas and star formation in nearby galaxy centers. Galaxy centers tend to have very different environmental properties than those in the disks, and thus they are ideal test beds for understanding the mechanism of star formation in galaxies. We use high resolution data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to study cloud-scale variation of molecular gas properties and their relationship with the CO-to-H2 conversion factor (αCO), which is one of the most critical parameters for inferring the molecular gas mass. To this end, I have:

[1] established the modeling and techniques for measuring molecular gas properties and αCO with multi-line CO isotopologue observations (Teng et al. 2022);
[2] identified the physical drivers and key observables for tracing αCO variations in barred galaxy centers (Teng et al. 2023);
[3] developed a new αCO prescription that can be applied across large galaxy samples for future molecular gas studies (Teng et al. 2024). The prescription further reveals systematic impacts of αCO on the estimation of star formation efficiency which has been obscured in prior studies.

I also study dense gas environment and massive star formation, targeting molecular clouds in both our Galaxy and nearby galaxies. My master thesis advised by Dr. Naomi Hirano focuses on the dense, star-forming filaments in Orion Molecular Cloud-1, which is the nearest high-mass star-forming region in our Galaxy (Teng & Hirano 2020). To learn more about my research, please go to my projects.

Contact me: yuteng at ucsd.edu