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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Carlos Frenk

Sharma, M., Theuns, T. & Frenk, C. (2018). The duration of reionization constrains the ionizing sources. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 477(1): L111–L116.

Author(s) from Durham


We investigate how the nature of the galaxies that reionized the Universe affects the duration of reionization. We contrast two sets of models: one in which galaxies on the faint side of the luminosity function dominate the ionizing emissivity, and a second in which the galaxies on the bright side of the luminosity function dominate. The faint-end of the luminosity function evolves slowly, therefore the transition from mostly neutral to mostly ionized state takes a much longer time in the first set of models compared to the second. Existing observational constraints on the duration of this transition are relatively weak, but taken at face value prefer the model in which galaxies on the bright side play a major role. Measurements of the kinetic Sunyaev Zeldovich effect in the cosmic microwave background from the epoch of reionization also point in the same direction.