Probing the High Redshift Universe
This is a 2-day event held during the week of the 38th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, which will be held in Bremen, Germany, from 18 - 25 July 2010.
This session brings together researchers who use GRBs, quasars, and LAEs as tools for probing the epoch of reionization. The session will also gauge direction of future research with coming and proposed facilities, such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), International X-ray Observatory (IXO), Joint Astrophysics Nascent Universe Satellite (JANUS), Xenia, and Energetic X-ray Imaging Survey Telescope (EXIST).
The 'dark ages' of the Universe, that followed recombination, ended when the UV radiation from the first luminous objects reionized the intergalactic medium. This 'epoch of reionization' began between 6<z<14, and is the only remaining directly-observable phase in cosmic evolution that has not yet been explored. Investigating the epoch of reionization is fundamentally important for understanding structure formation and cosmology as a whole, because it is during this phase that the first star-forming protogalaxies formed, enriching the intergalactic medium and probably seeding the first black holes that would later grow into quasars. Because of the large distances involved, gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), quasars, and Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies (LAEs) are some of the best tools for studying this early epoch.
A preliminary list of solicited speakers includes: