Modelling probes of the Epoch of Reionization: Lyman Alpha and 21cm Emission

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Institute of Astronomy


I will be using simulations and analytical models to explore the use of Lyman Alpha emission (from LAE galaxies) and 21 cm emission (from neutral Hydrogen) as probes of the Epoch of Reionization.

The first area I am looking into is how the ionization state of the intergalactic medium (IGM) will affect our observations of LAE galaxies, throughout this epoch. Specific examples include the effects on clustering of observed LAEs, the reduction of measured equivalent widths (EWs) as we probe higher redshifts, and also the effect on observed luminosity functions. In order to do this, I will use the Sherwood suite of hydrodynamical simulations as a basis, and then apply 'semi-analytic' techniques to model the progress of reionization. This essentially creates a statistically realistic snapshot of the universe at different times during the epoch, which I can use to test the effects of ionization. This area interfaces with the cutting edge of observational work, and so it is important for our understanding of current observations.

After looking into LAEs, I plan to work on 21cm emission, and its use for probing reionization. This is an area that is more prospective than LAEs, as observations of 21cm emission will only become truly viable as a probe over the coming decade. It is important that we are theoretically ready with forward models for when future telescopes like JWST and SKA come online. I will continue to model this epoch using simulations and semi-analytic techniques.


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Weinberger L (2018) Lyman-a emitters gone missing: the different evolution of the bright and faint populations in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/N503988/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2020
1791046 Studentship ST/N503988/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2020 Lewis Weinberger