Cosmology Seminar - Jan 10
High-Redshift Astrophysics Using Every Photon
Large galaxy surveys have dramatically improved our understanding of the complex processes which govern gas dynamics and star formation in the nearby universe. However, we know far less about the most distant galaxies, as existing high-redshift observations can only detect the very brightest sources. Intensity mapping surveys provide a promising tool to access this poorly-studied population. By observing emission lines with low angular resolution, these surveys can make use of every photon in a target line to study faint emitters which are inaccessible using traditional techniques. With upcoming carbon monoxide experiments in mind, I will demonstrate how an intensity map can be used to measure the luminosity function of a galaxy population, and in turn how these measurements will allow us to place robust constraints on the cosmic star formation history. I will then show how cross-correlating CO isotopologue lines will make it possible to study gas dynamics within the earliest galaxies in unprecedented detail.