The universe at z > 5: When and how did the “dark age” end?
Rees, Martin J.
National Academy of Sciences
This paper considers how the first subgalactic structures produced the UV radiation that ionized the intergalactic medium before z = 5 and the “feedback” effects of the UV radiation on structure formation. The first “pregalaxies” may eventually be detectable by their direct UV emission, with characteristic spectral features at Lyman α; high-z supernovae may also be detectable. Other probes of the intergalactic medium beyond z = 5, and of the epochs of reheating and reionization, are discussed, along with possible links between the diffusion of pregalactic metals and the origin of magnetic fields.