NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2008A-0127

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Proposal Information for 2008A-0127


PI: Adam D. Myers, University of Illinois, admyers@astro.uiuc.edu
Address: Dept. of Astronomy, 1002 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801, USA

CoI: Robert J. Brunner, University of Illinois
CoI: Gordon T. Richards, Drexel University
CoI: Donald P. Schneider, Pennsylvania State University
CoI: Donald G. York, University of Chicago

Title: The Evolution of Quasar Clustering on Small Scales

Abstract: Currently favored unification models suggest that quasars form in dissipative galaxy mergers, and that they are one evolutionary step in a significant galaxy formation process. Models in which quasars originate in mergers predict an enhancement of quasar clustering on comoving scales of around r < 100 h^-1 \rm kpc, which has now been observed at z~2. Further, merger-driven models of quasars predict that the ratio of quasar clustering at r < 100 h^-1 \rm kpc to that on larger scales will remain constant with redshift to at least z~2. The evolution of quasar clustering on small scales, and hence the fraction of binary quasars with component separations of r < 100 h^-1 \rm kpc, is thus a powerful test of our understanding of the quasar phenomenon. We propose identifying 30 new binary quasars. When combined with binary quasars from the literature, and those identified during our successful run in 2007A, we will assemble a sample of 60 binary quasars. This sample will provide the first significant measurement of the \it evolution of quasar clustering from z~2 to z~1 on proper scales of r_prop ~ 25 h^-1 \rm kpc.


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