Saturday, April 21, 2018

Abstract-Ground based THz Spectroscopy of Obscured Starbursts in the Early Universe enabled by the 2nd generation Redshift (z) & Early Universe Spectrometer (ZEUS-2)

Vishwas, AmitStacey, GordonNikola, ThomasFerkinhoff, CarlParshley, StephenSchoenwald, JustinLamarche, Cody JamesHigdon, JamesHigdon, SarahBrisbin, DrewGüesten, RolfWeiss, AxelMenten, KarlIrwin, KentCho, Hsiao-MeiNiemack, MichaelHilton, GeneHubmayr, JohannesAmiri, MandanaHalpern, MarkWiebe, DonaldHasselfield, MatthewAde, PeterTucker, Carole

Galaxies were surprisingly dusty in the early Universe, with more than half of the light emitted from stars being absorbed by dust within the system and re-radiated into far infrared (FIR, ~50-150μm) wavelengths. Dusty star forming galaxies (DSFGs) dominate the co-moving star formation rate density of the Universe that peaks around redshift, z~2, making it compelling to study them in rest frame FIR bands. From galaxies at z > 1, the FIR line emission from abundant ions like [O III], [C II] and [N II], are redshifted into the short sub-mm telluric windows. My thesis work is based on building and deploying the 2nd Generation Redshift (z) and Early Universe Spectrometer (ZEUS-2), a long-slit, echelle grating spectrometer optimized to study broad (Δv = 300km/s) spectral lines from galaxies in the 200-650µm telluric windows using TES bolometers. These far-IR lines being extinction free and major coolants of the gas heated by (young) massive stars, are powerful probes of the physical conditions of the gas and the stellar radiation field. I present results from our survey of the [O III] 88µm line in galaxies at redshift, z ~ 2.8 to 4.6, with ZEUS-2 at the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Telescope. To interpret our observations along with ancillary data from optical to radio facilities, we apply photoionization models for HII regions and Photo Dissociation Region (PDR) models and confirm that the galaxies host substantial ongoing obscured star formation. The presence of doubly ionized oxygen suggests hard radiation fields and hence, elevated ionization parameters that can only be accounted for by a large population of massive stars formed during the ongoing starburst, that contribute a large fraction of the infrared luminosity. This study highlights the use of FIR line emission to trace the assembly of current day massive galaxies, conditions of star formation and details of their stellar populations. The construction and operation of ZEUS-2 were funded by NSF ATI and AAG grants including AAG 1109476 and has served as a training ground for students interested in astronomical instrumentation.

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