PI: Pimol Moth, University of Florida, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 211 Bryant Space Science Center P.O. Box 112055, Gainesville, FL 32611, U.S.A.
CoI: Richard J. Elston, University of Florida
Title: Near-IR Spectroscopy of Lyman Break Galaxies in Two QSO Fields
Abstract: Recently there have been numerous detections of z>=3 galaxies using the Lyman break technique  allowing for direct observations of galaxies in a young state. We propose to conduct a comprehensive study of the properties of these Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) using near-IR spectroscopy to study the rest-frame optical emission lines H(beta), [OII] (lambda) 3727, and [OIII] (lambda)$(lambda) 4959, 5007. Observations of these emission lines will allow us to determine the source of excitations (AGN vs. star formation), star formation rates, chemical abundances, and nuclear velocity dispersions of LBGs in the fields of Q1244+1129 and Q1451+1223. By supplementing our near-IR observations with available observations of QSO absorption line spectra, we can constrain the total halo mass of each absorbing galaxy and consequently constrain the bias of galaxy formation. Ultimately, we will combine the information obtained from these spectra with existing HST NICMOS and WFPC-2 observations and galaxy formation models to determine the nature of LBGs. The 4-m coupled with the multi-slit capability of FLAMINGOS make it now efficient to carry out a comprehensive study of these LBGs. Study of these galaxies, when the universe was ~ 10% of its current age, is crucial in our efforts to better understand galaxy formation and evolution.
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