PI: Xiaohui Fan, The University of Arizona, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Steward Observatory, 933 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721-0065, USA
CoI: Michael Strauss, Princeton University Observatory
Title: A Survey of z~ 6 Quasars from the SDSS
Abstract: We propose to carry out a survey of i-dropout objects selected from ~ 1400 deg^2 of new multicolor imaging data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), to search for luminous quasars at z~ 6. Objects with i-z > 2.2, z<20.4 and blue z-J color will be selected based on optical and near-IR photometry. Follow-up spectroscopy will be obtained using KPNO 4m/MARS, taking full advantage of this red-optimized spectrograph to probe the 8000 - 10000 Aregion. We expect to find 3 - 6 new quasars at 5.7 < z < 6.5 in the new area, increasing the total number of z~6 objects known by \gtrsim 50%. The high-redshift quasar spectra will be used to probe the evolution of the ionizing background and the epoch of reionization. By measuring the Gunn- Peterson effect along different lines of sight, we will study the inhomogeneity of the reionization process. The quasar sample will also be used to study the evolution of the density and the luminosity functions of the quasar population, and to measure the metallicity of high-redshift quasar environments.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360