T-2, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Population III Stars, Primeval Galaxies, and the Births of the First Quasars

Dan Whalen

We are on the cusp of the JWST and WFIRST era in cosmology, in which the first supernovae, primitive galaxies and nascent quasars will be revealed in unprecedented detail. A new generation of numerical simulations is required to predict their properties in advance of their detection by next-generation observatories. I will review how the first stars in the universe ended the cosmic Dark Ages and were congregated into young protogalaxies. I will also discuss how massive black holes likely formed in a small fraction of these galaxies and later evolved into the supermassive black holes that power the SDSS quasars by redshifts z ~ 7. Finally, I will describe our numerical campaign to simulate the formation of the first stars, galaxies and quasars over the next five years.


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