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The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:30-16:30 Wed 11 Aug 2004

ATNF Marsfield Lecture Theatre

Dr. Axel Weiss

(IRAM Spain)

Dusty Quasars and Starbursts at z = 2.5 -- CI and CO - Dr. Axel Weiss Colloquium

Detections of large amounts of dust and gas in distant quasars have
opened up the possibility of studying molecular gas properties in the
early epoch of galaxy formation and of providing fundamental constraints
on galaxy evolution. Molecular gas masses in excess of 10^10 Msun have
led to the hypothesis that the tremendous far-infrared luminosities
(>10^12 Lsun) of these objects are powered not only by black holes
but also by major starbursts which might be forming cores of
elliptical galaxies or bulges of massive spiral galaxies.

I will report on an in-depth study of the molecular gas properties of
the two brightest dusty quasars at redshifts > 2, the Cloverleaf
quasar and IRAS F10214, and the brightest pure starburst galaxy, SMM14011.
Our analysis is based on observations at the IRAM interferometer and
the IRAM 30m telescope of both of the neutral carbon fine structure
lines and of the complete CO ladder between CO(3-2) and CO(8-7).
I will discuss the excitation conditions, the distribution of the
molecular gas and the differences between AGN and starburst powered
sources in the early epoch of star formation.

Up to now, comparable data sets exist only for the Milky Way and the
central region of M82. It will be a primary task of ALMA to observe these
important tracers of the molecular gas routinely, both in nearby
galaxies and in high-redshift objects.

More information


D.J. Pisano

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