The goal of this chapter is to accurately pin down the molecular gas content of high redshift galaxies. By targeting the CO ground transition, we circumvent uncertainties related to CO excitation. The ngVLA can observe the CO(1-0) line at all redshifts, thus exposing the evolution of gaseous reservoirs from the earliest epochs down to the peak of the cosmic history of star formation. The order-of-magnitude improvement in the number of CO detections with respect to state-of-the-art observational campaigns will provide a unique insight on the evolution of galaxies through cosmic time. We show that the ngVLA will perform a precision measurement of the dense gas history of the Universe, the fuel for star formation, back to the epoch of cosmic reionization and the formation of the first galaxies.
Science with a Next Generation Very Large Array
- Pub Date:
- December 2018
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- To be published in the ASP Monograph Series, "Science with a Next-Generation VLA", ed. E. J. Murphy (ASP, San Francisco, CA). arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1510.06411