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Title: The evolution of dusty galaxies
Author: Barnard, V. E.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2003
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In this thesis three areas within the topic of the evolution of dusty galaxies are explored. Whilst the impact of dusty galaxies upon the energy balance of the Universe has recently been recognised, the exact details of these intriguing objects are not at all yet well-known. The thesis begins with a modelling study of the low-redshift dusty galaxy population. A galaxy evolution model is tested against a consistently selected low-redshift population. At low redshifts there is a wealth of consistent data available in a variety of formats, in contrast with high-redshift data. In this model two modes of infrared emission production are modelled: quiescent star-forming phases and brief high-luminosity phases associated with a merger event. It is found that the results at low redshift are complementary to those found at high redshift. This suggests that the same processes causing the dust emission are dominant at both epochs. In the sample of low-redshift galaxies used here, the quiescent galaxy population is not important, but it may be important in future surveys selected at longer wavelengths. Secondly, a survey searching for very bright blank-field SCUBA galaxies is described. Two large maps of Galactic regions were searched using a Mexican Hat Wavelet technique for point sources which might correspond to extragalactic objects. Secondary observations of good candidates showed that all of these were either Galactic or spurious. A filtering step in the original data reduction is found to have caused the spurious sources. Simulations of the detection technique show it to be robust in these maps despite this filtering, and so upper limits on the counts of dusty galaxies at S850 50 mJy are obtained. A brief description of the application of the same technique to a much deeper map of the cluster A2218 is also given here. Finally a new route to locating high-redshift dusty galaxies is described, which explores the properties of the host galaxies of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Observations of two samples of GRBs in the submillimetre indicate that the hosts of 'dark' GRBs, who no optical afterglow, are no different from the wider population. GRB hosts in general match the SCUBA population at low fluxes but there seem to be fewer bright GRB hosts. Some plausible explanations for this are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available