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The paradigm of a dark energy- and dark matter-dominated Universe, with the hierarchical merger scenario for the formation of galaxies, has scored impressive successes in matching the observed Universe. However, the theory fails to explain the difficulty in generating ordinary disk galaxies such as the Milky Way, suggesting that some important physics must be missing in current models.
IAU Symposium 254 was organized to address this question, gathering researchers from an unusually broad range of fields, from cosmology to interstellar matter, and the formation and evolution of stars. High-class reviews, lectures and posters combine to define the frontiers in the field and point the way to new avenues of research.
This volume presents a unique set of succinct overviews illuminating the full range of topics in this very active field. It also honours Danish astrophysicist Bengt Stromgren (1908-1987), who laid much of the foundation for this entire field.