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A radio view of dust-obscured star formation

Within the field of astronomy, understanding how galaxies grow and evolve from the Big Bang to the present day is a challenging and complex question.

D. van der Vlugt
06 december 2023
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Radio observations - unhindered by dust attenuation - are a powerful tool in studying the formation of stars and subsequent buildup of galaxies. In this thesis, the distant star formation is studied using radio observations from the VLA COSMOS-XS survey specifically. In Chapter 2, we discuss the details of the sensitive COSMOS-XS survey and present the derived Euclidean-normalized source counts. In Chapter 3, we derive the dust-unbiased star formation rate density out to high redshift and present evidence for a significant underestimation of the star formation rate density based on ultraviolet observations. In Chapter 4, the focus shifts to the ‘optically dark’ population: extremely dust-obscured sources that are invisible even in deep ultraviolet imaging. We identify these sources with the COSMOS-XS survey and use them to quantify their contribution to the total star formation rate density. In Chapter 5, we present new ALMA observations of ‘optically dark’ sources and confirm the cosmic importance of ‘optically dark’ sources at high redshift.

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