Searches for primeval galaxies
A primeval galaxy represents the earliest stages of a galaxy's life and as such provides clues to the early history of the Universe and the evolution of stars and galaxies. Over the last 20 years astronomers have been engaged in the quest to detect the faint signals from these objects, believed to lie at a distance comparable with the size of the Universe. A wide variety of observational techniques have been employed in this search, with astronomers eagerly awaiting each new generation of astronomical telescope or detector in the hope of finally solving the mystery to the origin of galaxies- or at least placing new and interesting constraints. Until recently, primeval galaxies have eluded detection in these searches, however experiments over the last couple of years which use either 10 m-class optical telescopes or state-of-the-art submillimetre array detectors, may hold the clue to the origin of structure as they have finally uncovered what appears to be a widespread population of young galaxies.