Understanding Galaxy Assembly

  • Our Team

  • Prof. Frank Bertoldi (PI, AIfA)
  • Dr. Benjamin Magnelli (PI, AIfA)
  • Dr. Alexander Karim (AIfA)
  • Toma Badescu (AIfA)
  • Eric Faustino Jiménez-Andrade (AIfA)
  • Christos Karoumpis (AIfA)
  • Kevin Harrington (AIfA)
  • Dr. Eleni Vardoulaki (AIfA)
  • Dr. Lydia Moser (AIfA)
  • Dr. Stefanie Mühle (AIfA)
  • Dr. Reinhold Schaaf (AIfA)

A short overview

The goal of this project is to establish a coherent picture of the conditions and impacts of star formation in star-forming galaxies during the early epoch of galaxy formation, when most of the stars ever formed were born. The physical, chemical and dynamical conditions of the star forming gas are investigated in representative samples of high-redshift, mainly far-infrared selected, starburst galaxies.

This project focuses on three main questions: a) the effect of intense starbursts on the evolution of individual galaxies, b) the conditions triggering or terminating star formation events at the earliest cosmic epochs, and c) the role of starbursting galaxies in the history of cosmic structure and star formation, and their relation to typical star-forming galaxies. In order to answer these questions, numerous observational programs have been performed. In particular, we have been very successful building a unique sample of high-redshift strongly lensed starburst galaxies with state-of-the-art spectroscopic using the IRAM-30m, ALMA, GBT and LMT observatories, and continuum (HST, JVLA). Futhermore, studies of typical star-forming galaxies have been pursued using a wide and deep radio survey from the JVLA observatory as well as deep (sub)millimeter surveys from various facilities (Herschel, IRAM-30m, ALMA, GBT). In addition, a study of star formation in nearby ultra-luminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs) have been performed as part of this project.

Project A1 bridges the detailed knowledge from studies of nearby star formation and the dense interstellar medium (A3 to A6) to the fundamental processes of galaxy assembly. The studies of the conditions for star formation in nearby AGN and QSOs (A2) allows a comparison and contextual interpretation of what this project finds for high redshift galaxies, where it is difficult to obtain detailed spatial information. The tools developed in projects C1-C3 are used for the modeling of the line emission in distant starbursts, while the measurement of high frequency rotational fine structure lines relies on receivers built in associated project D1, projects D2 and D3 with support from service project S. In addition, detailed comparisons between observations and numerical models of galaxy formation, as developed in project C4, cover the cosmological context of this project.

Selected Publications


In 2018
Harrington, K. C., Yun, M. S., Magnelli, B., Frayer, D. T., Karim, A., Weiß, A., Riechers, D., Jiménez-Andrade, E. F., Berman, D., Lowenthal, J., and Bertoldi, F., Total molecular gas masses of Planck-Herschel selected strongly lensed hyper luminous infrared galaxies, MNRAS 474, 3866.

In 2017
Badescu, T., Yang, Y., Bertoldi, F., Zabludoff, A., Karim, A., and Magnelli, B., Discovery of a Proto-cluster Associated with a Lyα Blob Pair at z = 2.3, ApJ, 845, 172.

Jiménez-Andrade, E. F., Magnelli, B., Karim, A., Jones, G. C., Carilli, C. L., Romano-Díaz, E., Gómez-Guijarro, C., Toft, S.,  Bertoldi, F., et al. Molecular gas in AzTEC/C159: a star-forming disk galaxy 1.3 Gyr after the Big Bang, A&A, in press.

Decarli, R., Walter, F., Venemans, B. P., Bañados, E., Bertoldi, F., et al., Rapidly star-forming galaxies adjacent to quasars at redshifts exceeding 6, Nature, 545, 457.

Smolcic, V., Novak, M., Bondi, M., Ciliegi, P., Mooley, K. P., Schinnerer, E., Zamorani, G., Navarrete, F., Bourke, S., Karim, A.,  Vardoulaki, E., Leslie, S., Delhaize, J., Carilli, C. L., Myers, S. T., Baran, N., Delvecchio, I., Miettinen, O., Banfield, J., Balokovic, M., Bertoldi, F. , et al., The VLA-COSMOS 3 GHz Large Project: Continuum data and source catalog release, A&A, 602, A1.

In 2016
Harrington, K. C., Yun, M. S., Cybulski, R., et al. Early science with the Large Millimeter Telescope: observations of extremely luminous high-z sources identified by Planck, MNRAS 458, 4383.

Walter, F., Decarli, R., Aravena, M., Carilli, C., Bouwens, R., da Cunha, E., Daddi, E., Ivison, R. J., Riechers, D., Smail, I.,  Swinbank, M., Weiss, A., Anguita, T., Assef, R., Bacon, R., Bauer, F., Bell, E. F., Bertoldi, F., et al. ALMA spectroscopic survey in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field: survey description, ApJ, 833, 1.

In 2015
Chapman, S. C., Bertoldi, F., et al. A blind CO detection of a distant red galaxy in the HS1700+64 protocluster, MNRAS-L, 449, L68.

Magnelli, B., Ivison, R. J., Lutz, D., Valtchanov, I., Farrah, D., Berta, S., Bertoldi, F., et al. The far-infrared/radio correlation and radio spectral index of galaxies in the SFR-M* plane up to z~2, A&A, 573, A45.

In 2014
Decarli, R., Walter, F., Carilli, C., Bertoldi, F., et al. Varying [C II]/[N II] Line Ratios in the Interacting System BR1202-0725 at z = 4.7. ApJL, 2014, 782, L17.

Toft, S., Smolcic, V., Magnelli, B., Karim, A. et al., Submillimeter Galaxies as Progenitors of Compact Quiescent Galaxies. ApJ, 2014, 782, 68.

In 2013
Karim, A., Swinbank, A.M., Hodge, J.A., et al., An ALMA survey of submillimetre galaxies in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South: high-resolution 870um source counts. MNRAS, 2013, 432, 2.

Wang, R., Wagg, J., Carilli, C.L., Walter, F., Lentati, L., Fan. X., Riechers, D.A., Bertoldi, F., et al. Star Formation and Gas Kinematics of Quasar Host galaxies at z~6: New Insights from ALMA. ApJ,
2013, 773, 10.

In 2012
Smolcic, V., Aravena, M., Navarrete, F., et al., Millimeter imaging of submillimeter galaxies in the COSMOS field: redshift distribution. A&A, 2012, 548, A4 (co-authors: Karim, A. & Bertoldi, F.).

Swinbank, A.M., Karim, A., Smail, I., et al., An ALMA survey of submillimetre galaxies in the Extended Chandra Deep Field-South: detection of [CII] at z = 4.4. MNRAS, 2012, 427, 1066.

In 2011
Capak, P.L., Riechers, D., Scoville, N.Z., Carilli, C., Cox, P., Neri, R., Robertson, B., Salvato, M., Schinnerer, E., Yan, L., Wilson, G.W., Yun, M., Civano, F., Elvis, M., Karim, A., et al., A massive protocluster of galaxies at a redshift of z=5.3. Nature, 2011, 470, 233.

Karim, A., Schinnerer, E., Martinez-Sansigre, A., et al., The Star Formation History of Mass-selected Galaxies in the COSMOS Field. ApJ, 2011, 730, 61.

In 2010
Greve, T.R., Weiß, A., Walter, F., et al., A LABOCA Survey of the Extended Chandra Deep Field South: Submillimeter Properties of Near-infrared Selected Galaxies. ApJ, 2010, 719, 483 (co-author: Bertoldi, F.).

In 2009
Weiß, A., Kovacs, A., Coppin, K.E.K., et al., The Large Apex Bolometer Camera Survey of the Extended Chandra Deep Field South. ApJ, 2009, 707. 1201 (co-author: Bertoldi, F.).

Walter, F., Riechers, D., Cox, P., Neri, R., Carilli, C., Bertoldi, F., Weiss, A. & Maiolino, R., A kiloparsec-scale hyper-starburst in a quasar host less than 1 gigayear after the Big Bang. Nature, 2009, 457, 699.

Stacey, G. J., Bertoldi, F., Magnelli, B., Stutzki, J., Schilke, P., Glenn, J., Bally, J., Giovanelli, R., Riechers, D., Karim, A., and  Plume, R., The CCAT Observatory: Science and Facility, EAS Publications Series 75, 419.