PI: Linhua Jiang, University of Arizona, email@example.com
Address: Department of astronomy, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
CoI: Xiaohui Fan, University of Arizona
Title: Faint \boldmath z~6 Quasars in the SDSS Deep Stripe: SQIID NIR Photometry of \boldmath i-Dropout Objects
Abstract: We propose to use KP-4m/SQIID to carry out NIR photometry of i- dropout objects with z_AB<21.5 selected from the multi-epoch imaging data of the SDSS Deep Stripe. The proposed observations are the first major step for the discovery of z~6 quasars. Using z_ABJHK broad band photometry, quasar candidates will be efficiently separated from brown dwarfs, which have more than ten times higher surface density. The follow-up spectroscopy will be carried out in the near future to identify quasars. Over the last few years, roughly 20 bright z~6 quasars with z_AB<20 have been discovered, but little is known about fainter quasars at this redshift. With the proposed observations and follow-up spectroscopy, we will obtain a well-defined sample with ~15 faint quasars at z~6, reaching 1.5-2 mag deeper than the bright sample. The faint quasar sample combined with the bright sample will be used to measure the quasar luminosity function at z~6, probe the earliest black hole growth, and constrain the reionization history. This sample will also be used to study chemical enrichment and dust evolution in quasar environments at early epoch.
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