Can 21-cm observations discriminate between high-mass and low-mass galaxies as reionization sources?

Iliev, Ilian T, Mellema, Garrelt, Shapiro, Paul R, Pen, Ue-Li, Mao, Yi, Koda, Jun and Ahn, Kyungjin (2011) Can 21-cm observations discriminate between high-mass and low-mass galaxies as reionization sources? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 423 (3). pp. 2222-2253. ISSN 0035-8711

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The prospect of detecting the first galaxies by observing their impact on the intergalactic medium as they reionized it during the first billion years leads us to ask whether such indirect observations are capable of diagnosing which types of galaxies were most responsible for reionization. We attempt to answer this by considering a set of large-scale radiative transfer simulations of reionization in sufficiently large volumes to make statistically meaningful predictions of observable signatures, while also directly resolving all atomically-cooling halos down to 10^8 M_solar. We focus here on predictions of the 21-cm background, to see if upcoming observations are capable of distinguishing a universe ionized primarily by high-mass halos from one in which both high-mass and low-mass halos are responsible, and to see how these results depend upon the uncertain source efficiencies. We find that 21-cm fluctuation power spectra observed by the first generation EoR/21-cm radio interferometer arrays should be able to distinguish the case of reionization by high-mass halos alone from that by both high- and low-mass halos, together. Some reionization scenarios yield very similar power spectra and rms evolution and thus can only be discriminated by their different mean reionization history and 21-cm PDF distributions. We find that the skewness of the 21-cm PDF distribution smoothed over LOFAR-like window shows a clear feature correlated with the rise of the rms due to patchiness. Measurements of the mean photoionization rates are sensitive to the average density of the regions being studied and therefore could be strongly skewed in certain cases. (abridged)

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Depositing User: Ilian Iliev
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2012 10:39
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2017 23:54

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