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Exploring the epoch of hydrogen reionization using FRBs

Beniamini, Paz and Kumar, Pawan and Ma, Xiangcheng and Quataert, Eliot (2021) Exploring the epoch of hydrogen reionization using FRBs. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 502 (4). pp. 5134-5146. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stab309.

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We describe three different methods for exploring the hydrogen reionization epoch using fast radio bursts (FRBs) and provide arguments for the existence of FRBs at high redshift (z). The simplest way, observationally, is to determine the maximum dispersion measure (DM_(max)) of FRBs for an ensemble that includes bursts during the reionization. The DM_(max) provides information regarding reionization much like the optical depth of the cosmic microwave background to Thomson scattering does, and it has the potential to be more accurate than constraints from Planck, if DM_(max) can be measured to a precision better than 500 pccm⁻³. Another method is to measure redshifts of about 40 FRBs between z of 6 and 10 with ∼10 per cent accuracy to obtain the average electron density in four different z-bins with ∼4 per cent accuracy. These two methods do not require knowledge of the FRB luminosity function and its possible redshift evolution. Finally, we show that the reionization history is reflected in the number of FRBs per unit DM, given a fluence limited survey of FRBs that includes bursts during the reionization epoch; we show using FIRE simulations that the contribution to DM from the FRB host galaxy and circumgalactic medium during the reionization era is a small fraction of the observed DM. This third method requires no redshift information but does require knowledge of the FRB luminosity function.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Beniamini, Paz0000-0001-7833-1043
Ma, Xiangcheng0000-0001-8091-2349
Quataert, Eliot0000-0001-9185-5044
Additional Information:© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2021 February 1. Received 2021 February 1; in original form 2020 November 23. Published: 04 February 2021. We thank Mukul Bhattacharya, Mike Boylan-Kolchin, Liam Connor, Daniel Eisenstein, Steve Finkelstein, Eric Linder, Wenbin Lu, Rob Robinson, and Paul Shapiro for useful conversations and input. In particular, we thank Mukul Bhattacharya, Mike Boylan-Kolchin, Eric Linder, and Wenbin Lu for reading the draft and providing numerous suggestions that helped improve the presentation significantly. The research of PB was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF5076. This work has been funded in part by an NSF grant AST-2009619 and NSF grant AST-1715070. Data Availability: The data produced in this study will be shared on reasonable request to the authors.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationGBMF5076
Subject Keywords:HII regions – galaxies: evolution – dark ages, reionization, first stars – fast radio bursts
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210105-133417265
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Official Citation:Paz Beniamini, Pawan Kumar, Xiangcheng Ma, Eliot Quataert, Exploring the epoch of hydrogen reionization using FRBs, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 502, Issue 4, April 2021, Pages 5134–5146,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107324
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:05 Jan 2021 21:59
Last Modified:14 May 2021 16:40

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