On the use of Lyα emitters as probes of reionization

Jensen, Hannes, Laursen, Peter, Mellema, Garrelt, Iliev, Ilian T, Sommer-Larsen, Jesper and Shapiro, Paul R (2013) On the use of Lyα emitters as probes of reionization. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 428 (2). pp. 1366-1381. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

We use numerical simulations to study the effects of the patchiness of a partly reionized intergalactic medium (IGM) on the observability of Lyα emitters (LAEs) at high redshifts (z ≳ 6). We present a new model that divides the Lyα radiative transfer into a (circum)galactic and an extragalactic (IGM) part, and investigate how the choice of intrinsic line model affects the IGM transmission results. We use our model to study the impact of neutral hydrogen on statistical observables such as the Lyα rest-frame equivalent width (REW) distribution, the LAE luminosity function and the two-point correlation function. We find that if the observed changes in LAE luminosity functions and equivalent width distributions between z ∼ 6 and 7 are to be explained by an increased IGM neutral fraction alone, we require an extremely late and rapid reionization scenario, where the Universe was ∼40 per cent ionized at z = 7, ∼50 per cent ionized at z = 6.5 and ∼100 per cent ionized at z = 6. This is in conflict with other observations, suggesting that intrinsic LAE evolution at z ≳ 6 cannot be completely neglected. We show how the two-point correlation function can provide more robust constraints once future observations obtain larger LAE samples, and provide predictions for the sample sizes needed to tell different reionization scenarios apart.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: radiative transfer, methods: numerical, galaxies: high-redshift, galaxies: statistics
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Depositing User: Ilian Iliev
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2013 07:16
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2017 18:25
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/45329

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