Epoch of reionisation: first light to the earliest galaxies currently known

Principal contact: A. Verma (averma@astro.ox.ac.uk)

Organisers: Aprajita Verma (University of Oxford, UK), Matthew D. Lehnert (Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France), Daniel Schaerer (Observatoire de Geneve, Switzerland), Johan Fynbo (Copenhagen University, Denmark), Steve Warren (Imperial College London, UK), Jean-Paul Kneib (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, France), Benedetta Ciardi (MPA, Germany)

Understanding first light - the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the early Universe - and the process of reionisation, are among the most fundamental and challenging problems in cosmological research. Observationally, the last two decades have witnessed a revolution in studying very high redshift galaxies through highly successful selection techniques coupled to a dramatic increase in the sensitivity of ground- and space-based telescopes. We can now routinely investigate the denizens of the early Universe as they emerge from the neutral medium, determine their physical properties and place constraints on theoretical models. The future is also bright with first light and reionisation being prominent science cases for upcoming facilities such as the SKA, LOFAR, ALMA, JWST and the E-ELT. This session aims to bring together experts from the European Astronomical Community to discuss our current understanding of the early Universe less than ~1 billion years after the Big Bang, and prospects for the next decade.

Main themes:

  • Epoch/Era of reionisation, theory and constraints
  • First Light: identifying the perpetrators of reionisation (QSOs, mini-blackholes, very massive stars, and/or galaxies?)
  • Searches for and the physical properties of high redshift galaxies (LAEs, LBGs, lensed sources, QSOs, obscured sources) at z>6
  • Chemical enrichment of the high-redshift IGM (including galaxy winds, QSO absorption line studies)

Scientific Programme

Monday 20th April  
14:00 Introduction  
14:02 Phenomology of Reionization and the CMB Richard Battye
14:30 Observabity of the Epoch of Reionization: the View from the Simulations Ilian Iliev
14:50 Theoretical Modelling of Inhomogeneous Reionization by Combining Radiative Transfer and Galaxy Formation Modelling Milan Raicevic
15:05 Lya Radiation Transfer in Hydrodynamical Simulations of Galaxies Anne Verhamme
15:20 Poster Session Eric Tittley
Luke Davies
Alvaro Orsi
Monday 20th April  
16:30 New Results on Reionization from Metal Absorption Lines George Becker
16:58 Probing reionization with the UKIDSS quasar ULASJ1319+0950 Mitesh Patel
17:10 JANUS Will Find Hundreds of Quasars 6<z<10 by 2015 Stephen Warren
17:25 Pushing to the Limits: NB Imaging and NIR Spectroscopy of Critical Line Mapping Jean-Paul Kneib
17:40 Star Formation at z>6 and Implications for Reionization Andrew Bunker
17:55 The Search for Galaxies at z > 7 James Dunlop
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