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A comprehensive analysis of quasar-only reionization... finally!

Today is a remarkable day for me. It is the day my very first Ph.D. project got finally published. Funny enough, it was the first to be started and it is the last to get on a journal, thanks to a combination of long simulations, pressure to publish other papers (due to a competing group) and Ph.D. thesis getting in the way. Anyhow, here it is (for the time being, still in pre-proofread form). We confirmed with simulations that the simple analytical model of Madau and Haardt 2015 works, but we have been able to study the properties of the Lyman-alpha forest in this model and make testable predictions. We showed that the quasar-only model has big problems in reproducing the IGM optical depth and temperature evolution, but can produce the obsured tail of large optical depths. Finally, we showed that the shape of the transmission regions in the Lyman-alpha forest can be very effective in constrain the quasar contribution to reionization.

Figure 3 from Garaldi et al. 2018: Volume rendering of the HI ionization front in one of our simulations at different redshifts. Neutral gas is shown in semi-transparent white, while the ionization fronts (defined as the regions where the local HII fraction is 50 per cent) are shown using opaque white.

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