The Milky Way as a Galaxy Formation Laboratory
Prof. Dr. Matthias Steinmetz Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik, Potsdam
The Milky Way is the galaxy we can study in most detail. Large spectroscopic campaigns such as the Radial Velocity Experiment RAVE combined with photometric and astrometric surveys provide us an integrated view on the chemical and kinematical history of the Galaxy and its various stellar populations. Combined with the results of cosmological gas dynamical simulations we thus can disentangle the various physical processes that have shaped the Galaxy's structure and get a detailed view of the complex structure of the Milky Way and its convoluted formation history.