The Post-Recombination Universe — the Dark Ages

  • Malcolm S. Longair
Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)

Abstract

In the final part of this volume, we consider the post-recombination Universe and the physical processes responsible for the formation of galaxies and clusters of galaxies as we know them at the present day. The post-recombination era spans the redshift range from about 1000 to zero and it is convenient to divide it into two parts. The more recent of these, spanning the redshift range 0 < z < 5, may be termed the observable Universe of galaxies, in the sense that this is the range of redshifts over which galaxies and quasars have now been observed. Although there have been remarkable developments in detector and telescope technology over recent years, it is still the case that only the most luminous objects can be readily detected at large redshifts, z ≥ 1. As we will show in Chap. 17, there is plentiful evidence that the populations of galaxies and quasars have evolved dramatically over the redshift range 0 < z < 5. There is now good evidence that much of the star formation activity in galaxies and the synthesis of the heavy elements took place during these late phases of the post-recombination era, as we discuss in Chap. 18. Many of the most important physical processes which led to the formation of galaxies as we know them took place during this era, which, fortunately, is now accessible to astronomical observation. Many of these phenomena will be discussed in Chap. 20.

The earlier phase of the post-recombination era, the redshift interval 1000 > z > 5, is often referred to as the Dark Ages. At the beginning of this redshift interval, we can learn a considerable amount about the early development of the perturbations from which galaxies and larger scale structures formed from observations of the Cosmic Background Radiation. Until galaxies became visible as bound, star-forming systems at redshifts z ≤ 5, however, there are few observational tools which can be used to study precisely what took place during the immediate post-recombination era. The perturbations were still in the linear regime at z ~ 1000 but, as they collapsed to form bound systems, their evolution became non-linear. Many of the processes which led to the variety of structures we observe today must have taken place during these epochs. In this chapter we investigate some aspects of the physical processes which are likely to be important during the post-recombination epochs, before the galaxies became visible at redshifts z < 5.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Reference

  1. Bardeen, J.M., Bond, J.R., Kaiser, N. and Szalay, A.S. (1986). ApJ, 304, 15.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blain, A.W. and Longair, M.S. (1993). MNRAS, 265, 21P.ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Blumenthal, G.R., Faber, S.M., Promak, J.R. and Rees, M.J. (1984). Nature, 311, 517.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coles, P. & Lucchin, F. (1995). Cosmology — the Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Structure. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.MATHGoogle Scholar
  5. Coles, P., Melott, A.L. and Shandarin, S.F. (1993). MNRAS, 260, 765. Efstathiou, G. (1990). In Physics of the Early Universe, (eds. J.A. Peacock, A.F. Heavens and A.T. Davies), 361. Edinburgh: SUSSP Publications.ADSGoogle Scholar
  6. Efstathiou, G. (1995). In Galaxies in the Young Universe, (eds. H. Hippelein, K. Meisenheimer and H.-J. Roser), 299. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  7. Efstathiou, G. and Rees, M.J. (1988). MNRAS, 230, 5P.ADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Hamilton, A.J.S., Kumar, P., Lu, E. and Matthews, A. (1991). ApJ, 374, L1.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kauffman and White, S.D. (1993). MNRAS, 261, 921.ADSGoogle Scholar
  10. Kormendy, J. and Richstone, D. (1995). ARAA, 33, 581.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lin, C.C., Mestel, L. and Shu, F. (1965). ApJ, 142, 1431.MathSciNetADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lynden-Bell, D. (1967). Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc, 136, 101.ADSGoogle Scholar
  13. Ohta, K., Yamada, T., Nakanishi, K., Kohno, K., Akiyama, M. and Kawabe, R. (1996). Nature, 382, 426.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Omont, A. (1996). In Science with Large Millimetre Arrays, (ed. P.A. Shaver), 82. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  15. Omont, A., Petitjean, P., Guilloteau, S., McMahon, R.G., Solomon, P.M. and Pecontal, E. (1996). Nature, 382, 428.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Peacock, J.A. and Dodds, S.J. (1994). MNRAS, 267, 1020.ADSGoogle Scholar
  17. Peacock, J.A. and Heavens, A.F. (1985). MNRAS, 217, 805.ADSGoogle Scholar
  18. Press, W.H. and Schechter, P. (1974). ApJ, 187, 425.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rees, M.J. and Ostriker, J.E. (1977). MNRAS, 179, 541.ADSGoogle Scholar
  20. Silk, J. and Wyse, R.F.G. (1993). Physics Reports, 231, 293.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sutherland, R.S. and Dopita, M.A. (1993). ApJS, 88, 253.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Zeldovich, Ya.B. (1970). A&A, 5, 84.ADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm S. Longair
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics, Cavendish LaboratoryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations