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Computer Simulations of Cosmic Reionization

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The cosmic reionization of hydrogen was the last major phase transition in the evolution of the universe, which drastically changed the ionization and thermal conditions in the cosmic gas. To the best of our knowledge today, this process was driven by the ultra-violet radiation from young, star-forming galaxies and from first quasars. We review the current observational constraints on cosmic reionization, as well as the dominant physical effects that control the ionization of intergalactic gas. We then focus on numerical modeling of this process with computer simulations. Over the past decade, significant progress has been made in solving the radiative transfer of ionizing photons from many sources through the highly inhomogeneous distribution of cosmic gas in the expanding universe. With modern simulations, we have finally converged on a general picture for the reionization process, but many unsolved problems still remain in this young and exciting field of numerical cosmology.
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Keywords: COSMOLOGY: THEORY; GALAXIES: FORMATION; INTERGALACTIC MEDIUM; LARGE-SCALE STRUCTURE OF UNIVERSE; METHODS: NUMERICAL; RADIATIVE TRANSFER

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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  • ADVANCED SCIENCE LETTERS is an international peer-reviewed journal with a very wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all areas of (1) Physical Sciences, (2) Biological Sciences, (3) Mathematical Sciences, (4) Engineering, (5) Computer and Information Sciences, and (6) Geosciences to publish original short communications, full research papers and timely brief (mini) reviews with authors photo and biography encompassing the basic and applied research and current developments in educational aspects of these scientific areas.
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