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You are here: Home Science & Projects Deisa Extreme Computing Initiative Projects 2009 - 2010 The First Billion Years

The First Billion Years

Project FiBY
Research Area Astro Sciences
Principal Investigator(s) Dr. Claudio Dalla Vecchia
Dr. Sadegh Khochfar
  • University of Leiden, Leiden Observatory, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany


We aim at simulating the formation and evolution of galaxies within the first billion years of the Universe by using unprecedented high-resolution simul ations. The hydrodynamical, cosmological simulations are designed to evolve the Universe, focusing on the sites of star and galaxy formation. They include all the relevant physics: radiative cooling and formation of molecular Hydrogen, star formation and feedback from supernovae, metal enrichment of the inter -stellar material, black hole formation and feedback. In particular, the theory of Population III (POP III) star formation will be tested within a cosmolog ical framework. Using a multi-resolution approach we are able to follow with high resolution the formation of POP III stars on small scales at early times. Degrading the resolution of the simulations with time once POP III activity has ceased we are able to capture the evolution of galaxies down to low redsh ift. The collaboration would like to address the following questions: (i) what is the luminosity function of galaxies at redshift six and larger; (ii) how the transition from metal poor POP III to metal enriched POP II star formation happens; (iii) what is the role of the turbulence from cold accretion in mod ifying star formation at early times; (iv) where seed black holes from POP III stars form and how they grow. Answering these questions, we will deepen our understanding of the formation of the first galactic structures in the Universe, and will provide direct predictions for upcoming space-based satellite mis sions like the James Webb Space Telescope.

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