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Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Awards 2013 Finalist

Emma Ryan-Weber (Swinburne)

"Metals, galaxies and escaping flux at the end of reionization"

Abstract. The details surrounding the end of the dark ages are among the final unknowns in modern astronomy. We have yet to discover when the starlight from the first galaxies lit up the Universe, ionizing the surround neutral hydrogen gas. I will talk about our search for intergalactic metals at the highest observable redshifts. The detection of metals in the intergalactic medium provides a completely independent measure of the number of Lyman continuum photons in early Universe available to reionize cosmic hydrogen. The production of early metals is closely linked due to the fact that massive stars provide both the ionizing radiation and the supernova debris that pollutes the IGM. I will present new results on the evolution of the cosmological mass density of triply ionized Carbon, Omega(CIV), from redshifts 4.2 to 6.2. In addition I will present work on the relationship between CIV absorbers and their galaxy environments and discuss a novel solution to observational problem of the lack of ionizing flux escaping from high redshift galaxies.

Held in the AAO Meeting Room (Room 7, 1st Floor, Building 2) at 11:00 AM on Thursday, 05 September 2013