Draft version for 2011 Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
astro-ph/1102.4638

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THE FIRST GALAXIES

Volker Bromm 1 & Naoki Yoshida 2


1 Department of Astronomy and Texas Cosmology Center, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712
2 Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8583, Japan


Abstract: We review our current understanding of how the first galaxies formed at the end of the cosmic dark ages, a few 100 million years after the Big Bang. Modern large telescopes discovered galaxies at redshifts greater than seven, whereas theoretical studies have just reached the degree of sophistication necessary to make meaningful predictions. A crucial ingredient is the feedback exerted by the first generation of stars, through UV radiation, supernova blast waves, and chemical enrichment. The key goal is to derive the signature of the first galaxies to be observed with upcoming or planned next-generation facilities, such as the James Webb Space Telescope or Atacama Large Millimeter Array. From the observational side, ongoing deep-field searches for very high-redshift galaxies begin to provide us with empirical constraints on the nature of the first galaxies.


Key Words: cosmology, galaxy formation, intergalactic medium, star formation, Population III


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS A FIRST GALAXY?
Theoretical Perspective
Observational Perspective

CONSTRAINTS FROM EXISTING OBSERVATIONS
High-redshift Dropout galaxies
Lyman-alpha Emitters

THEORETICAL STUDIES
Overview
Pre-Galactic Metal Enrichment
Star Formation in the First Galaxies
Radiation from the First Galaxies

THE FIRST SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES
Formation Models
SMBH-First Galaxy Coevolution

James Webb Space Telescope SIGNATURE
JWST Instruments and Sensitivities
Observing High-redshift Sources
Modelling Star Formation in the First Galaxies
Source Number Counts

STELLAR ARCHAEOLOGY
Ultrafaint Dwarf Galaxies
Theoretical Models

OUTLOOK

REFERENCES

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