Formation of the First Galaxies: Theory and Simulations

  • Jarrett L. Johnson
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 396)


The properties of the first galaxies are shaped in large part by the first generations of stars, which emit high energy radiation and unleash both large amounts of mechanical energy and the first heavy elements when they explode as supernovae. We survey the theory of the formation of the first galaxies in this context, focusing on the results of cosmological simulations to illustrate a number of the key processes that define their properties. We first discuss the evolution of the primordial gas as it is incorporated into the earliest galaxies under the influence of the high energy radiation emitted by the earliest stars; we then turn to consider how the injection of heavy elements by the first supernovae transforms the evolution of the primordial gas and alters the character of the first galaxies. Finally, we discuss the prospects for the detection of the first galaxies by future observational missions, in particular focusing on the possibility that primordial star-forming galaxies may be uncovered.


Black Hole Star Formation Cosmic Microwave Background Blast Wave Initial Mass Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author is grateful to the editors for the invitation to contribute this Chapter, as well as to Bhaskar Agarwal, Volker Bromm, Umberto Maio, and Eyal Neistein for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this work.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische PhysikGarchingGermany
  2. 2.Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA

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