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The First Galaxies in the Universe$
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Abraham Loeb and Steven R. Furlanetto

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144917

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144917.001.0001

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The Intergalactic Medium

The Intergalactic Medium

(p.92) Chapter Four The Intergalactic Medium
The First Galaxies in the Universe

Abraham Loeb

Steven R. Furlanetto

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the intergalactic medium (IGM). Although much of astronomy focuses on the luminous material inside galaxies, the majority of matter today—and the vast majority at z > 6—actually lies outside these structures, in the IGM. This material ultimately provides the fuel for galaxy and cluster formation and—because it is much less affected by the complex physics of galaxies—offers a cleaner view of the underlying physical processes of structure formation and of fundamental cosmology. The chapter thus takes up the study on the properties of the IGM, especially during the era of the first galaxies (when the IGM underwent major changes).

Keywords:   intergalactic medium, IGM, luminous material, galaxy formation, cluster formation, fundamental cosmology, IGM properties, first galaxies

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