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

The End of the Cosmic Dark Ages

Daniel Whalen
Carnegie Mellon Univ.

We are on the cusp of the pentascale era in numerical cosmology and astrophysics, in which numerical simulations of unprecendented detail and clarity will reveal the mases of the stars in the universe, the light curves and spectra of the first supernovae, and the structures of primeval galaxies over the next five years. Primevil stars and galaxies ended the cosmic Dark Ages 200 - 400 Myrs after the Big Bang, and are the key to the rise of early stellar populations, cosmological reionization, and chemical enrichment of the IGM. The observational desert from 1100 $> z>$ 7 that now veils their epoch of formation will soon be breached by a new generation of ground and space based observatories such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Atacama Lrge millimeter Array (ALMA), JANUS, and the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT). I will outline our simulation campaign to model the formation of the first stars to the end of the main sequesnce, their explosions in primordial H II regions, prompt star formation in supernova remnants, and their uptake into primative galaxies. I will also discuss the enormous, currently untapped potential for the advancement of the state of the art in cosmological structure formation by algorithms developed under the ASC initiative at LANL.


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