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Title: The role of Extremely Red Galaxies in the history of structure formation
Author: Caputi, Karina I.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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In this thesis we investigate the redshift distribution and derived cosmological properties of Extremely Red Galaxies (ERGs), through the study of a sample selected with Ks ≤ 22 and (I775 - Ks) > 3.92 (Vega) in 50.4 arcmin2 of the GOODS/CDFS field. We also study the properties of the total parent sample of Ks-selected galaxies in the same field, with the aim of understanding their evolution and clarifying the role of ERGs within this population. We determine that the bright end of the Ks-band luminosity function, which is progressively well reproduced by the ERGs with increasing redshift, shows no sign of decline up to at least redshift z ~ 2.5. We also explore the evolution of massive systems present in our sample: ~ 20% - 25% of the population of local galaxies with assembled stellar mass M > 1 x 1011M were formed before redshift z ~ 4, and contain ~ 45% to 70% of the stellar mass density of the Universe at that redshift. Within our sample, the commoving number density of these massive systems is then essentially constant down to redshift z ~ 1.5. The remaining massive systems observed in the local Universe are assembled later, at redshifts z < 1.5. Thus, a two-fold assembly history for massive galaxies is suggested, in which galaxy/star formation proceeds very efficiently in high mass haloes at very high redshift. It is the massive ERGs at redshift z > 1 which contain the imprints of the most efficient period of galaxy formation. Finally, from the morphological study of our galaxies with estimated mass M > 1011M and redshifts z < 2, we explore the bridge between massive ERGs at z > 1 and local massive galaxies. ~ 50% - 60% of all the massive galaxies at 0.5 z 2.0 have surface brightness profiles close to a de Vaucouleurs law. All our results are consistent with a scenario in which the most massive ERGs are the progenitors of local cluster elliptal/S0 galaxies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available