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, xH I, at z ∼ 7 using a sample of Lyman-break galaxies in legacy fields. We infer xH I = 0.55+−00.1113 with scatter, compared to xH I = 0.59+−00.1214 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.

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, xH I, at z ∼ 7 using a sample of Lyman-break galaxies in legacy fields. We infer xH I = 0.55+−00.1113 with scatter, compared to xH I = 0.59+−00.1214 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.

The impact of scatter in the galaxy UV luminosity to halo mass relation on Ly α visibility during the epoch of reionization

Dijkstra M.;Mesinger A.;Pentericci L.;Trenti M.;Treu T.
2020

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, xH I, at z ∼ 7 using a sample of Lyman-break galaxies in legacy fields. We infer xH I = 0.55+−00.1113 with scatter, compared to xH I = 0.59+−00.1214 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.
Settore FIS/05 - Astronomia e Astrofisica
Dark ages, reionization, first stars; Galaxies: evolution; Galaxies: high-redshift; Intergalactic medium
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/102279
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