Thesis Topic: Pencil Line Intensity Mapping using Archival ALMA Data


Thesis Supervisor: Tony Mroczkowski, Martin Zwaan and Celine Peroux


The neutral atomic phase of gas is the original reservoir of gas for star formation. However, the Universe content in atomic gas at high-redshift remains poorly constrained. The issue is not merely a census of the various phases in the Universe, but a real understanding of the physical processes with which baryons are to be found in galaxies or in the intergalactic medium (IGM). With the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), unbiased surveys of gas up to the epoch of reionisation are becoming possible.

We propose using archival calibrator data from ALMA to place constraints on the signal due to star formation at high redshifts along the line of sight.  A number of intensity mapping surveys are now proposed for wide regions of the sky and at low spatial and spectral resolution.  Our approach is to use existing ALMA data to go narrower but deeper, taking advantage of multiple bands to improve signal to noise in the cross-correlation

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student who is interested in working with us on these data to address exciting and topical science questions related to the formation and evolution of galaxies. The student will be part of a large team of scientists (not limited to ESO) with a huge accumulated experience in studies of galaxy evolution as well as (sub)-millimetre observations.