Published in 2002, Physics Reports, Volume 369, Issue 2, p. 111-176.

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Andrew W. Blain a, b, Ian Smail c, R. J. Ivison d, J.-P. Kneib e, David T. Frayer f

a Department of Astronomy, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125, USA
b Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
c Department of Physics, University of Durham, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
d Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
e Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 14 Avenue E. Belin, F-31400 Toulouse, France
f SIRTF Science Center, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125, USA

Abstract. A cosmologically significant population of very luminous high-redshift galaxies has recently been discovered at submillimeter (submm) wavelengths. Advances in submm detector technologies have opened this new window on the distant Universe. Here we discuss the properties of the high-redshift submm galaxies, their significance for our understanding of the process of galaxy formation, and the selection effects that apply to deep submm surveys. The submm galaxies generate a significant fraction of the energy output of all the galaxies in the early Universe. We emphasize the importance of studying a complete sample of submm galaxies, and stress that because they are typically very faint in other wavebands, these follow-up observations are very challenging. Finally, we discuss the surveys that will be made using the next generation of submm-wave instruments under development.

Keywords: Dust: extinction, Cosmology: observations, Galaxies: evolution, Galaxies: formation, gravitational lensing, Radio continuum: galaxies

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