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    We present a Bayesian inference on the neutral hydrogen fraction of the intergalactic medium (IGM), $\overline{x}_{\small HI}$, at z ∼ 6–8 using the properties of Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) during the epoch of reionization. We use large samples of LBG candidates at 5.5 ≤ z ≤ 8.2 with spectroscopy from Keck/DEIMOS and Keck/MOSFIRE. For each galaxy, we incorporate either the Lyman-α (Lyα) equivalent width (EW) for detections or the EW limit spectrum for non-detections to parametrize the EW distribution at various ultraviolet brightnesses for a given redshift. Using our reference sample of galaxy candidates from the ionized universe at z ∼ 6.0, we are able to infer $\overline{x}_{\small HI}$ at two redshifts: z ∼ 6.7 and z ∼ 7.6. This work includes intrinsically faint, gravitationally lensed galaxies at z ∼ 6.0 in order to constrain the intrinsic faint-end Lyα EW distribution and provide a comparable population of galaxies to counterparts in our sample that are at higher redshift. The inclusion of faint galaxy candidates, in addition to a more sophisticated modelling framework, allows us to better isolate effects of the interstellar medium and circumgalactic medium on the observed Lyα distribution from those of the IGM. We infer an upper limitmore »of $\overline{x}_{\small HI}$ ≤ 0.25 (0.44) at z = 6.7 ± 0.2 and a neutral fraction of $\overline{x}_{\small HI}$ = $0.83^{+0.08}_{-0.11}$ (0.83$^{+0.11}_{-0.21}$) at z = 7.6 ± 0.6, both within 68 per cent (95 per cent) uncertainty, results that favour a moderately late and fairly rapid reionization.

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    The formation of the first galaxies during cosmic dawn and reionization (at redshifts z = 5–30), triggered the last major phase transition of our universe, as hydrogen evolved from cold and neutral to hot and ionized. The 21-cm line of neutral hydrogen will soon allow us to map these cosmic milestones and study the galaxies that drove them. To aid in interpreting these observations, we upgrade the publicly available code 21cmFAST. We introduce a new, flexible parametrization of the additive feedback from: an inhomogeneous, H2-dissociating (Lyman–Werner; LW) background; and dark matter – baryon relative velocities; which recovers results from recent, small-scale hydrodynamical simulations with both effects. We perform a large, ‘best-guess’ simulation as the 2021 installment of the Evolution of 21-cm Structure (EOS) project. This improves the previous release with a galaxy model that reproduces the observed UV luminosity functions (UVLFs), and by including a population of molecular-cooling galaxies. The resulting 21-cm global signal and power spectrum are significantly weaker, primarily due to a more rapid evolution of the star formation rate density required to match the UVLFs. Nevertheless, we forecast high signal-to-noise detections for both HERA and the SKA. We demonstrate how the stellar-to-halo mass relation of themore »unseen, first galaxies can be inferred from the 21-cm evolution. Finally, we show that the spatial modulation of X-ray heating due to relative velocities provides a unique acoustic signature that is detectable at z ≈ 10–15 in our fiducial model. Ours are the first public simulations with joint inhomogeneous LW and relative-velocity feedback across the entire cosmic dawn and reionization, and we make them available at this link

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  3. ABSTRACT The reionization of hydrogen is closely linked to the first structures in the Universe, so understanding the timeline of reionization promises to shed light on the nature of these early objects. In particular, transmission of Lyman alpha (Ly α) from galaxies through the intergalactic medium (IGM) is sensitive to neutral hydrogen in the IGM, so can be used to probe the reionization timeline. In this work, we implement an improved model of the galaxy UV luminosity to dark matter halo mass relation to infer the volume-averaged fraction of neutral hydrogen in the IGM from Ly α observations. Many models assume that UV-bright galaxies are hosted by massive dark matter haloes in overdense regions of the IGM, so reside in relatively large ionized regions. However, observations and N-body simulations indicate that scatter in the UV luminosity–halo mass relation is expected. Here, we model the scatter (though we assume the IGM topology is unaffected) and assess the impact on Ly α visibility during reionization. We show that UV luminosity–halo mass scatter reduces Ly α visibility compared to models without scatter, and that this is most significant for UV-bright galaxies. We then use our model with scatter to infer the neutral fraction, $\overline{x}_{\mathrm{ H}\,{\small I}}$, atmore »z ∼ 7 using a sample of Lyman-break galaxies in legacy fields. We infer $\overline{x}_{\mathrm{ H}\,{\small I}} = 0.55_{-0.13}^{+0.11}$ with scatter, compared to $\overline{x}_{\mathrm{ H}\,{\small I}} = 0.59_{-0.14}^{+0.12}$ without scatter, a very slight decrease and consistent within the uncertainties. Finally, we place our results in the context of other constraints on the reionization timeline and discuss implications for future high-redshift galaxy studies.« less