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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 Reionization of Intergalactic Hydrogen

The Reionization of Intergalactic Hydrogen

(p.283) Chapter Nine The Reionization of Intergalactic Hydrogen
The First Galaxies in the Universe

Abraham Loeb

Steven R. Furlanetto

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers how primordial gas was transformed to an ionized state by the first galaxies within merely hundreds of millions of years. It addresses this question by first describing the formation and evolution of galaxies during the cosmic dawn. The course of reionization—the process of transition from an atomic state back to constituent protons and electrons—of hydrogen gas can be determined by counting photons from all galaxies as a function of time. Both stars and black holes contribute ionizing photons, but the early Universe was dominated by small galaxies that, in the local Universe, had disproportionately small central black holes.

Keywords:   primordial gas, hydrogen, reionization, intergalactic hydrogen, black holes, stellar ionizing photons, hydrogen reionization, quasars, photoheating

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