In The First Galaxies, Astrophysics and Space Science Library, Volume 396. ISBN 978-3-642-32361-4. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2013, p. 177.
http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.5701

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FORMATION OF THE FIRST GALAXIES: THEORY AND SIMULATIONS

Jarrett L. Johnson


Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstraße, 85748 Garching, Germany
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA


Abstract: 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.


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FIRST GALAXIES

EVOLUTION OF THE PRIMORDIAL GAS IN THE FORMATION OF THE FIRST GALAXIES
Cooling of the Primordial Gas
Suppression of Cooling by the Photodissociation of Molecules
The Impact of Radiation from Accreting Black Holes on the Primordial Gas

METAL ENRICHMENT AND THE ONSET OF POPULATION II STAR FORMATION
The First Supernovae and Metal Enrichment
The Mixing of Metals with the Primordial Gas
Metal Cooling in the First Galaxies

OBSERVATIONAL PREDICTIONS AND THE OUTLOOK FOR IDENTIFYING THE FIRST GALAXIES

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

REFERENCES

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