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Published March 10, 2014 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

The Evolution of Interstellar Medium Mass Probed by Dust Emission: ALMA Observations at z = 0.3-2


The use of submillimeter dust continuum emission to probe the mass of interstellar dust and gas in galaxies is empirically calibrated using samples of local star-forming galaxies, Planck observations of the Milky Way, and high-redshift submillimeter galaxies. All of these objects suggest a similar calibration, strongly supporting the view that the Rayleigh-Jeans tail of the dust emission can be used as an accurate and very fast probe of the interstellar medium (ISM) in galaxies. We present ALMA Cycle 0 observations of the Band 7 (350 GHz) dust emission in 107 galaxies from z = 0.2 to 2.5. Three samples of galaxies with a total of 101 galaxies were stellar-mass-selected from COSMOS to have M* ≃ 10^(11) M☉: 37 at z ~ 0.4, 33 at z ~ 0.9, and 31 at z = 2. A fourth sample with six infrared-luminous galaxies at z = 2 was observed for comparison with the purely mass-selected samples. From the fluxes detected in the stacked images for each sample, we find that the ISM content has decreased by a factor ~6 from 1 to 2 × 10^(10) M☉ at both z = 2 and 0.9 down to ~2 × 10^9 M☉ at z = 0.4. The infrared-luminous sample at z = 2 shows a further ~4 times increase in M_(ISM) compared with the equivalent non-infrared-bright sample at the same redshift. The gas mass fractions are ~2% ± 0.5%, 12% ± 3%, 14% ± 2%, and 53% ± 3% for the four subsamples (z = 0.4, 0.9, and 2 and infrared-bright galaxies).

Additional Information

© 2014 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2013 September 25; accepted 2014 January 13; published 2014 February 20. We thank the referee for a number of useful suggestions. We also thank Zara Scoville for proofreading the manuscript and Andreas Schruba for helpful comments. The Aspen Center for Physics is acknowledged for hospitality during the initial writing of this paper; NSF grant 1066293 is also acknowledged. K.S.S. and K.S. are supported by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA# 2011.0.00097.S. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA), and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada) and NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO, and NAOJ.

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Published - 0004-637X_783_2_84.pdf

Submitted - 1401.2987v2.pdf


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