Observational constraints on cosmic reionization

Xiaohui Fan, C. L. Carilli, B. Keating

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

475 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Observations have set the first constraints on the epoch of reionization (EoR), corresponding to the formation epoch of the first luminous objects. Studies of Gunn-Peterson (GP) absorption indicate a rapid increase in the neutral fraction of the intergalactic medium (IGM) from x HI < 10 -4 at z ≤ 5.5, to x HI > 10 -3, perhaps up to 0.1, at z ∼ 6, while the large scale polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) implies a significant ionization fraction extending to higher redshifts, z ∼ 11 ± 3. These results, as well as observations of galaxy populations, suggest that reionization is a process that begins as early as z ∼ 14, and ends with the "percolation" phase at z ∼ 6 to 8. Low luminosity star-forming galaxies are likely the dominant sources of reionizing photons. Future low-frequency radio telescopes will make direct measurements of HI 21-cm emission from the neutral IGM during the EoR, and measurements of secondary CMB temperature anisorropy will provide details of the dynamics of the reionized IGM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Pages415-462
Number of pages48
Volume44
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Publication series

NameAnnual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume44
ISSN (Print)00664146

Fingerprint

intergalactic media
time measurement
galaxies
microwaves
ionization
polarization
radio telescopes
radio
luminosity
low frequencies
stars
temperature
photons
microwave

Keywords

  • Cosmic reionization
  • Galaxy formation
  • Observational cosmology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Fan, X., Carilli, C. L., & Keating, B. (2006). Observational constraints on cosmic reionization. In Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics (Vol. 44, pp. 415-462). (Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics; Vol. 44). https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.astro.44.051905.092514

Observational constraints on cosmic reionization. / Fan, Xiaohui; Carilli, C. L.; Keating, B.

Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Vol. 44 2006. p. 415-462 (Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics; Vol. 44).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Fan, X, Carilli, CL & Keating, B 2006, Observational constraints on cosmic reionization. in Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. vol. 44, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 44, pp. 415-462. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.astro.44.051905.092514
Fan X, Carilli CL, Keating B. Observational constraints on cosmic reionization. In Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Vol. 44. 2006. p. 415-462. (Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics). https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.astro.44.051905.092514
Fan, Xiaohui ; Carilli, C. L. ; Keating, B. / Observational constraints on cosmic reionization. Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Vol. 44 2006. pp. 415-462 (Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics).
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