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Siegel der Universität

Universität zu Köln
Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

I. Physikalisches Institut

Sonderforschungsbereich 494

Project Section A8 (Proposal)

Starbursts in high-redshift galaxies and quasars

Observations at submillimeter, millimeter and radio wavelengths provide powerful means to investigate the star forming properties of high redshift galaxies. Through (rest-frame) farinfrared measurements of key gas tracers (dust, CO, HCN, HCO+, H2O, C, C+, N+,O), we propose to intensify our successful efforts to investigate the conditions and environment of star formation, i.e. the structure, dynamics, chemistry of the dense gas associated with highredshift starburst galaxies and far-infrared-luminous QSOs. In recent years there has been much progress in detecting the thermal emission of dust, the line emission of CO, HCN, atomic carbon, or H2O, toward galaxies, optically selected quasars, and radio galaxies out to a redshift of 6.4. At high redshifts it is possible to explore the dust spectral energy distribution near its peak, and thereby constrain the energy output and temperature structure of the gas. Through multilevel CO, CI, HCN, and H2O observations we can also study the gas excitation, gas mass and elemental abundances. By spatially resolving the line emission we obtain important dynamical mass estimates and can thereby place limits on the galaxy or bulge masses, and in comparison with luminous mass estimate the elemental abundances. With a study of the important far-IR cooling lines such as [CII]158μm and [OI]63/146μm we can in principle place important constraints on the energetics of the starburst regions. The high redshift of our targets permits the study of the important far-IR spectral regime in the submm to mm atmospheric windows with current and upcoming ground based instruments such as the IRAM observatories and APEX, complemented with cm-observations of molecular tracers using the GBT, Effelsberg, and the VLA. Such studies are well complemented by the detailed observations of nearby star forming regions with the upcoming submm receivers on APEX, SOFIA, and Herschel, and they are a strategic preparation for ALMA.


See the home page of Prof. Bertoldi for more information.