The Reionization Epoch: New Insights and Future Prospects

The Reionization Epoch: New Insights and Future Prospects The Reionization Epoch: New Insights and Future Prospects
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    Pascal Oesch

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United States
Aspen, Colorado

Key Science Areas

The past few years have seen enormous progress in our ability to observe and characterize the very early universe before the end of cosmic reionization after only one billion years. In particular, the installation of the WFC3/IR camera onboard the Hubble Space Telescope completely revolutionized the search for galaxies at redshifts z>6 leading to first galaxy candidates out to z~10-12, less than 500 Myr from the big bang. Thanks to large multi-wavelength datasets from the Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra Space Telescopes as well as from 8-10 meter class ground-based telescopes, the early universe can now be studied in unprecedented detail. Additionally, ALMA is starting to probe completely new parameter space at radio wavelengths, promising revolutionary insights into molecular gas, dust, and dynamics at high redshift. z>6 galaxy and quasar searches are soon being pushed to new territory with upcoming deep NIR surveys covering several square degrees.

At the same time, the first direct probes of neutral hydrogen before cosmic reionization are underway based on the redshifted 21 cm radio signal. Radio telescopes such as LOFAR, the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), and the Precision Array for Probing the Epoch of Reionization (PAPER) are leading efforts in this exciting new field with the first generation surveys nearing completion. These projects are laying the groundwork for detailed studies with the SKA. Only by studying both reionization and the galaxies responsible will the full story of early galaxy formation be revealed.

Finally, new advances in computational astronomy have led to a new generation of early universe simulations reaching unprecedented mass resolution over large volumes. All these advances have been extremely helpful for studying and interpreting the build-up of the first generation of galaxies and quasars and for understanding their role in reionizing the universe before the advent of JWST. The goal of this meeting is to bring together a wide community of observers and theorists to discuss both recent progress as well as future perspectives for high-redshift studies and cosmic reionization.

Application Start Date: September 2015

The organizing committee CANNOT accept applications. Applications must be processed through the Aspen Center for Physics website when the applications webpage becomes available in September. The applications deadline will be December 15.

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