skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Robertson, Brant"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract The density and temperature properties of the intergalactic medium (IGM) reflect the heating and ionization history during cosmological structure formation, and are primarily probed by the Ly α forest of neutral hydrogen absorption features in the observed spectra of background sources. We present the methodology and initial results from the Cholla IGM Photoheating Simulation (CHIPS) suite performed with the graphics process unit–accelerated Cholla code to study the IGM at high, uniform spatial resolution maintained over large volumes. In this first paper, we examine the IGM structure in CHIPS cosmological simulations that include IGM uniform photoheating and photoionization models where hydrogen reionization is completed early or by redshift z ∼ 6. Comparing with observations of the large- and small-scale Ly α transmitted flux power spectra P ( k ) at redshifts 2 ≲ z ≲ 5.5, the relative agreement of the models depends on scale, with the self-consistent Puchwein et al. IGM photoheating and photoionization model in good agreement with the flux P ( k ) at k ≳ 0.01 s km −1 at redshifts 2 ≲ z ≲ 3.5. On larger scales, the P ( k ) measurements increase in amplitude from z ∼ 4.6 to z ∼ 2.2,more »faster than the models, and lie in between the model predictions at 2.2 ≲ z ≲ 4.6 for k ≈ 0.002–0.01 s km −1 . We argue that the models could improve by changing the He ii photoheating rate associated with active galactic nuclei to reduce the IGM temperature at z ∼ 3. At higher redshifts, z ≳ 4.5, the observed flux P ( k ) amplitude increases at a rate intermediate between the models, and we argue that for models where hydrogen reionization is completed late ( z ∼ 5.5–6), resolving this disagreement will require inhomogeneous or “patchy” reionization. We then use an additional set of simulations to demonstrate that our results have numerically converged and are not strongly affected by varying cosmological parameters.« less
  2. ABSTRACT We explore unsupervised machine learning for galaxy morphology analyses using a combination of feature extraction with a vector-quantized variational autoencoder (VQ-VAE) and hierarchical clustering (HC). We propose a new methodology that includes: (1) consideration of the clustering performance simultaneously when learning features from images; (2) allowing for various distance thresholds within the HC algorithm; (3) using the galaxy orientation to determine the number of clusters. This set-up provides 27 clusters created with this unsupervised learning that we show are well separated based on galaxy shape and structure (e.g. Sérsic index, concentration, asymmetry, Gini coefficient). These resulting clusters also correlate well with physical properties such as the colour–magnitude diagram, and span the range of scaling relations such as mass versus size amongst the different machine-defined clusters. When we merge these multiple clusters into two large preliminary clusters to provide a binary classification, an accuracy of $\sim 87{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ is reached using an imbalanced data set, matching real galaxy distributions, which includes 22.7 per cent early-type galaxies and 77.3 per cent late-type galaxies. Comparing the given clusters with classic Hubble types (ellipticals, lenticulars, early spirals, late spirals, and irregulars), we show that there is an intrinsic vagueness in visual classification systems, in particularmore »galaxies with transitional features such as lenticulars and early spirals. Based on this, the main result in this work is not how well our unsupervised method matches visual classifications and physical properties, but that the method provides an independent classification that may be more physically meaningful than any visually based ones.« less
  3. ABSTRACT Reionization-era galaxies tend to exhibit weak Ly α emission, likely reflecting attenuation from an increasingly neutral IGM. Recent observations have begun to reveal exceptions to this picture, with strong Ly α emission now known in four of the most massive z = 7–9 galaxies in the CANDELS fields, all of which also exhibit intense [O iii]+H β emission (EW > 800 Å). To better understand why Ly α is anomalously strong in a subset of massive z ≃ 7–9 galaxies, we have initiated an MMT/Binospec survey targeting a larger sample (N = 22) of similarly luminous (≃1–6 L$^{\ast }_{\mathrm{UV}}$) z ≃ 7 galaxies selected over very wide-area fields (∼3 deg2). We confidently (>7σ) detect Ly α in 78 per cent (7/9) of galaxies with strong [O iii]+H β emission (EW > 800 Å) as opposed to only 8 per cent (1/12) of galaxies with more moderate (EW = 200–800 Å) [O iii]+H β. We argue that the higher Ly α EWs of the strong [O iii]+H β population likely reflect enhanced ionizing photon production efficiency owing to their large sSFRs (≳30 Gyr−1). We also find evidence that Ly α transmission from massive galaxies declines less rapidly over 6 < z < 7 than in low-mass lensed systems. In particular, our data suggest no strong evolution in Ly α transmission, consistent with a picturemore »wherein massive z ≃ 7 galaxies often reside in large ionized regions. We detect three closely separated (R = 1.7 physical Mpc) z ≃ 7 Ly α emitters in our sample, conceivably tracing a large ionized structure that is consistent with this picture. We detect tentative evidence for an overdensity in this region, implying a large ionizing photon budget in the surrounding volume.« less
  4. ABSTRACT Galaxy clustering measurements can be used to constrain many aspects of galaxy evolution, including galaxy host halo masses, satellite quenching efficiencies, and merger rates. We simulate JWST galaxy clustering measurements at z ∼ 4–10 by utilizing mock galaxy samples produced by an empirical model, the universemachine. We also adopt the survey footprints and typical depths of the planned joint NIRCam and NIRSpec Guaranteed Time Observation program planned for Cycle 1 to generate realistic JWST survey realizations and to model high-redshift galaxy selection completeness. We find that galaxy clustering will be measured with ≳5σ significance at z ∼ 4–10. Halo mass precisions resulting from Cycle 1 angular clustering measurements will be ∼0.2 dex for faint (−18 ≳ $\mathit {M}_{\mathrm{UV}}^{ }$ ≳ −19) galaxies at z ∼ 4–10 as well as ∼0.3 dex for bright ($\mathit {M}_{\mathrm{UV}}^{ }$ ∼ −20) galaxies at z ∼ 4–7. Dedicated spectroscopic follow-up over ∼150 arcmin2 would improve these precisions by ∼0.1 dex by removing chance projections and low-redshift contaminants. Future JWST observations will therefore provide the first constraints on the stellar–halo mass relation in the epoch of reionization and substantially clarify how this relation evolves at z > 4. We also find that ∼1000 individual satellites will be identifiable at z ∼ 4–8 with JWST, enabling strong tests of satellite quenchingmore »evolution beyond currently available data (z ≲ 2). Finally, we find that JWST observations can measure the evolution of galaxy major merger pair fractions at z ∼ 4–8 with ∼0.1–0.2 dex uncertainties. Such measurements would help determine the relative role of mergers to the build-up of stellar mass into the epoch of reionization.« less
  5. ABSTRACT We present improved results of the measurement of the correlation between galaxies and the intergalactic medium transmission at the end of reionization. We have gathered a sample of 13 spectroscopically confirmed Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) and 21 Lyman-α emitters (LAEs) at angular separations 20 arcsec ≲ θ ≲ 10 arcmin (∼0.1–4 pMpc at z ∼ 6) from the sightlines to eight background z ≳ 6 quasars. We report for the first time the detection of an excess of Lyman-α transmission spikes at ∼10–60 cMpc from LAEs (3.2σ) and LBGs (1.9σ). We interpret the data with an improved model of the galaxy–Lyman-α transmission and two-point cross-correlations, which includes the enhanced photoionization due to clustered faint sources, enhanced gas densities around the central bright objects and spatial variations of the mean free path. The observed LAE(LBG)–Lyman-α transmission spike two-point cross-correlation function (2PCCF) constrains the luminosity-averaged escape fraction of all galaxies contributing to reionization to $\langle f_{\rm esc} \rangle _{M_{\rm UV}\lt -12} = 0.14_{-0.05}^{+0.28}\, (0.23_{-0.12}^{+0.46})$. We investigate if the 2PCCF measurement can determine whether bright or faint galaxies are the dominant contributors to reionization. Our results show that a contribution from faint galaxies ($M_{\rm UV} \gt -20 \, (2\sigma)$) is necessary to reproduce themore »observed 2PCCF and that reionization might be driven by different sub-populations around LBGs and LAEs at z ∼ 6.« less