Invited review (to be published by RSP), edited by R. Fabbri.
astro-ph/0603149

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PHYSICS OF COSMIC REIONIZATION

T. Roy Choudhury 1,2 * and A. Ferrara 1


1 SISSA/ISAS, via Beirut 2-4, 34014 Trieste, Italy
2 Centre for Theoretical Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302, India


Abstract. The study of cosmic reionization has acquired increasing significance over the last few years because of various reasons. On the observational front, we now have good quality data of different types at high redshifts (quasar absorption spectra, radiation backgrounds at different frequencies, cosmic microwave background polarization, Lyalpha emitters and so on). Theoretically, the importance of the reionization lies in its close coupling with the formation of first cosmic structures, and there have been numerous progresses in modelling the process. In this article, we review the current status of our understanding of the physical processes governing the cosmic reionization based on available observational data.


Table of Contents

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Initial models based on pressure and gravitational confinement
IGM as a fluctuating density field
Sources of ionization

OBSERVATIONAL CONSTRAINTS
Observations related to the state of the IGM
Observations related to the sources of reionization

PHYSICS OF REIONIZATION
Analytical approaches
Simulations

THE FUTURE

REFERENCES



* E-mail: chou@sissa.it Back

E-mail: ferrara@sissa.it Back

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