James Webb Space Telescope Feed Post

Date: 6/12/2024

Harvard ADS: ColdSIM predictions of [C II] emission in primordial galaxies

Paper abstract: A powerful tool to probe the gas content at high redshift is the [C II] 158 \mum sub-millimeter emission line, which, due to its low excitation potential and luminous emission, is considered a possible direct tracer of star forming gas. In this work we investigate the origin, evolution and environmental dependencies of [C II] 158 \mum emission line, as well as its expected correlation with stellar mass and star formation activity of the high-redshift galaxies observed by JWST. We use a set of state-of-the-art cold-gas hydrodynamic simulations (ColdSIM) with fully coupled time-dependent atomic and molecular non-equilibrium chemistry and self-consistent [C II] emission from metal enriched gas. We accurately track the evolution of H I, H II and H_2 in a cosmological context and predict both global and galaxy-based [C II] properties. For the first time, we predict the cosmic mass density evolution of [C II] and find that it is in good agreement with new measurements at redshift z = 6 from high-resolution optical quasar spectroscopy. We find a correlation between [C II] luminosity, L_{[C II]}, and stellar mass, consistent with results from ALMA high-redshift large programs. We predict a redshift evolution in the relation between L_{[C II]} and the star formation rate, SFR, and provide a fit to relate L_{[C II]} to SFR which can be adopted as a more accurate alternative to the currently used linear relation. Our findings provide physical grounds to interpret high-redshift detections in contemporary and future observations, such as the ones performed by ALMA and JWST, and to advance our knowledge on structure formation at early times.