Universiteit Leiden

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Star-Forming Galaxies at the Cosmic Dawn

Promotor: Prof.dr. M. Franx, Co-Promotor: Rychard Bouwens

R. Smit
28 April 2015
Thesis in Leiden Repository

The question of how the first stars formed and assembled into galaxies lies at the frontier of modern astrophysics. The study of these first sources of cosmic illumination was transformed by the installation of new instrumentation aboard the Hubble Space Telescope during one of the final Space Shuttle missions in 2009. Hubble has since unveiled a population of ultra-faint galaxies seen just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, an epoch often termed the Cosmic Dawn. This thesis presents pioneering observational studies of the first generations of galaxies, enabling an examination of their properties and the physics that governed the illumination of the early cosmos.

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