R. J. Cool

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, United States

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Publications (88)326.7 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We study the evidence for a symbiotic connection between active galactic nuclei (AGN) fueling and star formation by investigating the relationship between the X-ray luminosities of AGN and the star formation rates (SFRs) of their host galaxies. We identify a sample of 309 AGN with X-ray luminosities $10^{41}<L_\mathrm{X}<10^{44} $ erg s$^{-1}$ at $0.2 < z < 1.2$ in the PRIMUS spectroscopic redshift survey. There is a wide range of SFR at a given $L_X$, and we do not find a significant correlation between SFR and the observed instantaneous $L_X$ for star forming galaxies. However, there is a weak but significant correlation between the mean $L_\mathrm{X}$ of detected AGN and SFR, which likely reflects that $L_\mathrm{X}$ varies on shorter timescales than SFR. We also find no correlation between stellar mass and AGN luminosity. AGN are found in star forming and quiescent galaxies, and both galaxy populations have a similar power-law distribution in the probability of hosting an AGN as a function of specific accretion rate. However, a higher fraction of AGN hosts are classified as star forming with increasing $L_\mathrm{X}$, and a star forming galaxy is $\sim2-3$ times more likely to host an AGN of a given specific accretion rate than a quiescent galaxy of the same stellar mass. The probability of a galaxy hosting an AGN remains constant across the main sequence of star formation. These results indicate that there is an underlying connection between star formation and the presence of AGN, but AGN are also widespread in quiescent galaxies.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: I present small-scale galaxy cross-correlation measurements from the PRIsm MUlti-object Survey (PRIMUS) as a function of color, luminosity, and redshift. We measure the real-space clustering of ~50,000 galaxies from PRIMUS, over a redshift range 0.2 < z < 1, by cross-correlating spectroscopic PRIMUS galaxies with a tracer population of galaxies selected from imaging catalogs. In agreement with previous work, we find strong clustering differences between blue and red galaxy populations. Our results indicate luminosity-dependent clustering, but this luminosity dependence further varies depending on color and physical scale. We interpret our results using a halo abundance model.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: I will discuss two observational projects related to galaxy and active galactic nuclei (AGN) evolution at z < 1. First I will present a statistical study of the morphologies of galaxies in which star formation is being shut down or quenched; this has implications for how red, elliptical galaxies are formed. I will discuss the physical processes behind star formation quenching from the morphological transformations that galaxies undergo during this process. Then I will focus on multi-wavelength AGN selection methods and tie together disparate results in the literature. Several IR-AGN selection methods have been developed using Spitzer/IRAC data in order to supplement traditional X-ray AGN selection; I will characterize the uniqueness and complementarity of these methods as a function of both IR and X-ray depth. I will use data from the PRIsm MUlti-object Survey (PRIMUS) to compare the efficiency of IR and X-ray AGN selection and discuss the properties of the AGN and host galaxy populations of each. Finally, I will briefly mention ongoing work to compare the clustering of observed IR and X-ray AGN samples relative to stellar mass-matched galaxy samples.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present measurements of the luminosity and color-dependence of galaxy clustering at 0.2<z<1.0 in the PRIsm MUlti-object Survey (PRIMUS). We quantify the clustering with the redshift-space and projected two-point correlation functions, xi(rp,pi) and wp(rp), using volume-limited samples constructed from a parent sample of over 130,000 galaxies with robust redshifts in seven independent fields covering 9 sq. deg. of sky. We quantify how the scale-dependent clustering amplitude increases with increasing luminosity and redder color, with relatively small errors over large volumes. We find that red galaxies have stronger small-scale (0.1<rp<1 Mpc/h) clustering and steeper correlation functions compared to blue galaxies, as well as a strong color dependent clustering within the red sequence alone. We interpret our measured clustering trends in terms of galaxy bias and obtain values between b_gal=0.9-2.5, quantifying how galaxies are biased tracers of dark matter depending on their luminosity and color. We also interpret the color dependence with mock catalogs, and find that the clustering of blue galaxies is nearly constant with color, while redder galaxies have stronger clustering in the one-halo term due to a higher satellite galaxy fraction. In addition, we measure the evolution of the clustering strength and bias, and we do not detect statistically significant departures from passive evolution. We argue that the luminosity- and color-environment (or halo mass) relations of galaxies have not significantly evolved since z=1. Finally, using jackknife subsampling methods, we find that sampling fluctuations are important and that the COSMOS field is generally an outlier, due to having more overdense structures than other fields; we find that 'cosmic variance' can be a significant source of uncertainty for high-redshift clustering measurements.
    10/2013; 784(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Dual supermassive black holes (SMBHs) with kiloparsec scale separations in merger-remnant galaxies are informative tracers of galaxy evolution, but the avenue for identifying them in large numbers for such studies is not yet clear. One promising approach is to target spectroscopic signatures of systems where both SMBHs are fueled as dual active galactic nuclei (AGNs), or where one SMBH is fueled as an offset AGN. Dual AGNs may produce double-peaked narrow AGN emission lines, while offset AGNs may produce single-peaked narrow AGN emission lines with line-of-sight velocity offsets relative to the host galaxy. We search for such dual and offset systems among 173 Type 2 AGNs at z<0.37 in the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES), and we find two double-peaked AGNs and five offset AGN candidates. When we compare these results to a similar search of the DEEP2 Galaxy Redshift Survey and match the two samples in color, absolute magnitude, and minimum velocity offset, we find that the fraction of AGNs that are dual SMBH candidates increases from z=0.25 to z=0.7 by a factor of ~6 (from 2/70 to 16/91, or 2.9% to 18%). This may be associated with the rise in the galaxy merger fraction over the same cosmic time. As further evidence for a link with galaxy mergers, the AGES offset and dual AGN candidates are tentatively ~3 times more likely than the overall AGN population to reside in a host galaxy that has a companion galaxy (from 16/173 to 2/7, or 9% to 29%). Follow-up observations of the seven offset and dual AGN candidates in AGES will definitively distinguish velocity offsets produced by dual SMBHs from those produced by narrow-line region kinematics, and will help sharpen our observational approach to detecting dual SMBHs.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2013; 777(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present an observationally motivated model to connect the active galactic nucleus (AGN) and galaxy populations at 0.2 < z < 1.0 and predict the AGN X-ray luminosity function (XLF). We start with measurements of the stellar mass function of galaxies (from the Prism Multi-object Survey) and populate galaxies with AGNs using models for the probability of a galaxy hosting an AGN as a function of specific accretion rate. Our model is based on measurements indicating that the specific accretion rate distribution is a universal function across a wide range of host stellar masses with slope γ1 –0.65 and an overall normalization that evolves with redshift. We test several simple assumptions to extend this model to high specific accretion rates (beyond the measurements) and compare the predictions for the XLF with the observed data. We find good agreement with a model that allows for a break in the specific accretion rate distribution at a point corresponding to the Eddington limit, a steep power-law tail to super-Eddington ratios with slope , and a scatter of 0.38 dex in the scaling between black hole and host stellar mass. Our results show that samples of low luminosity AGNs are dominated by moderately massive galaxies () growing with a wide range of accretion rates due to the shape of the galaxy stellar mass function rather than a preference for AGN activity at a particular stellar mass. Luminous AGNs may be a severely skewed population with elevated black hole masses relative to their host galaxies and in rare phases of rapid accretion.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2013; 775(1):41. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2013; · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The PRIsm MUti-object Survey (PRIMUS) is a spectroscopic galaxy redshift survey to z~1 completed with a low-dispersion prism and slitmasks allowing for simultaneous observations of ~2,500 objects over 0.18 square degrees. The final PRIMUS catalog includes ~130,000 robust redshifts over 9.1 sq. deg. In this paper, we summarize the PRIMUS observational strategy and present the data reduction details used to measure redshifts, redshift precision, and survey completeness. The survey motivation, observational techniques, fields, target selection, slitmask design, and observations are presented in Coil et al 2010. Comparisons to existing higher-resolution spectroscopic measurements show a typical precision of sigma_z/(1+z)=0.005. PRIMUS, both in area and number of redshifts, is the largest faint galaxy redshift survey completed to date and is allowing for precise measurements of the relationship between AGNs and their hosts, the effects of environment on galaxy evolution, and the build up of galactic systems over the latter half of cosmic history.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2013; 767(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a study of Spitzer/IRAC and X-ray active galactic nuclei (AGNs) selection techniques in order to quantify the overlap, uniqueness, contamination, and completeness of each. We investigate how the overlap and possible contamination of the samples depends on the IR and X-ray depths. We use Spitzer/IRAC imaging, Chandra and XMM X-ray imaging, and PRism MUlti-object Survey (PRIMUS) spectroscopic redshifts to construct galaxy and AGN samples at 0.2<z<1.2 over 8 deg^2. We construct samples over a wide range of IRAC flux limits (SWIRE to GOODS depth) and X-ray flux limits (10 ks to 2 Ms). We compare IR-AGN samples defined using the IRAC color selection of Stern et al. and Donley et al. with X-ray detected AGN samples. For roughly similar depth IR and X-ray surveys, we find that ~75% of IR-AGN are identified as X-ray AGN. This fraction increases to ~90% when comparing against the deepest X-ray data, indicating that only ~10% of IR-selected AGN may be heavily obscured. The IR-AGN selection proposed by Stern et al. suffers from contamination by star-forming galaxies at various redshifts when using deeper IR data, though the selection technique works well for shallow IR data. While similar overall, the IR-AGN samples preferentially contain more luminous AGN, while the X-ray AGN samples preferentially contain lower specific accretion rate AGN, where the host galaxy light dominates at IR wavelengths. The host galaxy populations of the IR and X-ray AGN samples have similar restframe colors and stellar masses; both selections identify AGN in blue, star-forming and red, quiescent galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2013; 770(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a spectroscopic and photometric determination of the distance to the young Galactic open cluster Westerlund 2 using WFPC2 imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based optical spectroscopy. HST imaging in the F336W, F439W, F555W, and F814W filters resolved many sources previously undetected in ground-based observations and yielded photometry for 1136 stars. We identified fifteen new O-type stars, along with two probable binary systems, including MSP 188 (O3 + O5.5). We fit reddened SEDs based on the Padova isochrones to the photometric data to determine individual reddening parameters $R_{V}$ and $A_{V}$ for O-type stars in Wd2. We find average values $\langle R_{V} \rangle = 3.77 \pm 0.09$ and $\langle A_{V} \rangle = 6.51 \pm 0.38$ mag, which result in a smaller distance than most other spectroscopic and photometric studies. After a statistical distance correction accounting for close unresolved binaries (factor of 1.08), our spectroscopic and photometric data on 29 O-type stars yield that Westerlund 2 has a distance $\langle d \rangle = 4.16 \pm 0.07$ (random) $+0.26$ (systematic) kpc. The cluster's age remains poorly constrained, with an upper limit of 3 Myr. Finally, we report evidence of a faint mid-IR PAH ring surrounding the well-known binary candidate MSP~18, which appears to lie at the center of a secondary stellar grouping within Westerlund 2.
    The Astronomical Journal 02/2013; 145(5). · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We measure the evolution of the stellar mass function (SMF) from z=0-1 using multi-wavelength imaging and spectroscopic redshifts from the PRism MUlti-object Survey (PRIMUS) and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). From PRIMUS we construct an i<23 flux-limited sample of ~40,000 galaxies at z=0.2-1.0 over five fields totaling ~5.5 deg^2, and from the SDSS we select ~170,000 galaxies at z=0.01-0.2 that we analyze consistently with respect to PRIMUS to minimize systematic errors in our evolutionary measurements. We find that the SMF of all galaxies evolves relatively little since z=1, although we do find evidence for mass assembly downsizing; we measure a ~30% increase in the number density of ~10^10 Msun galaxies since z~0.6, and a <10% change in the number density of all >10^11 Msun galaxies since z~1. Dividing the sample into star-forming and quiescent using an evolving cut in specific star-formation rate, we find that the number density of ~10^10 Msun star-forming galaxies stays relatively constant since z~0.6, whereas the space-density of >10^11 Msun star-forming galaxies decreases by ~50% between z~1 and z~0. Meanwhile, the number density of ~10^10 Msun quiescent galaxies increases steeply towards low redshift, by a factor of ~2-3 since z~0.6, while the number of massive quiescent galaxies remains approximately constant since z~1. These results suggest that the rate at which star-forming galaxies are quenched increases with decreasing stellar mass, but that the bulk of the stellar mass buildup within the quiescent population occurs around ~10^10.8 Msun. In addition, we conclude that mergers do not appear to be a dominant channel for the stellar mass buildup of galaxies at z<1, even among massive (>10^11 Msun) quiescent galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2013; 767(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present an observationally motivated model to connect the AGN and galaxy populations at 0.2<z<1.0 and predict the AGN X-ray luminosity function (XLF). We start with measurements of the stellar mass function of galaxies (from the Prism Multi-object Survey) and populate galaxies with AGNs using models for the probability of a galaxy hosting an AGN as a function of specific accretion rate. Our model is based on measurements indicating that the specific accretion rate distribution is a universal function across a wide range of host stellar mass with slope gamma_1 = -0.65 and an overall normalization that evolves with redshift. We test several simple assumptions to extend this model to high specific accretion rates (beyond the measurements) and compare the predictions for the XLF with the observed data. We find good agreement with a model that allows for a break in the specific accretion rate distribution at a point corresponding to the Eddington limit, a steep power-law tail to super-Eddington ratios with slope gamma_2 = -2.1 +0.3 -0.5, and a scatter of 0.38 dex in the scaling between black hole and host stellar mass. Our results show that samples of low luminosity AGNs are dominated by moderately massive galaxies (M* ~ 10^{10-11} M_sun) growing with a wide range of accretion rates due to the shape of the galaxy stellar mass function rather than a preference for AGN activity at a particular stellar mass. Luminous AGNs may be a severely skewed population with elevated black hole masses relative to their host galaxies and in rare phases of rapid accretion.
    01/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The observations were made with Hectospec, a 300 fiber, 1 degree field of view, robotic spectrograph for the 6.5m MMT telescope at Mt. Hopkins, from 2004 April to 2007 July. The wavelength range is 3700-9200Å with a pixel scale of 1.2Å and a spectral resolution of 6Å (i.e., roughly R~1000). (7 data files).
    VizieR Online Data Catalog. 07/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss clustering properties of AGNs detected by the Chandra X-ray Observatory in the Bootes field over a redshift interval from z=0.17 to z 3. The measured correlation lengths are consistent with no redshift trend within the sample. The availability of accurate spectroscopic redshifts allows us to use the two-point correlation functions projected on the sky plane and in the line of sight to show that the X-ray AGNs are predominantly located at the centers of dark matter halos with Mtot > 4.1*10^{12}h^{-1}Msun, and tend to avoid satellite galaxies in halos of this or higher mass. The halo occupation properties inferred from the clustering data of Chandra AGNs -- the mass scale of the parent dark matter halos, the lack of significant redshift evolution of the clustering length, and the low satellite fraction -- are broadly consistent with the scenario of quasar activity triggered by mergers of similarly-sized galaxies.
    05/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the galaxy optical luminosity function for the redshift range 0.05 < z < 0.75 from the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey, a spectroscopic survey of 7.6 deg2 in the Boötes field of the NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey. Our statistical sample is composed of 12,473 galaxies with known redshifts down to I = 20.4 (AB). Our results at low redshift are consistent with those from Sloan Digital Sky Survey; at higher redshift, we find strong evidence for evolution in the luminosity function, including differential evolution between blue and red galaxies. We find that the luminosity density evolves as (1 + z)(0.54 ± 0.64) for red galaxies and (1 + z)(1.64 ± 0.39) for blue galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2012; 748(1):10. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present evidence that the incidence of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and the distribution of their accretion rates do not depend on the stellar masses of their host galaxies, contrary to previous studies. We use hard (2-10 keV) X-ray data from three extragalactic fields (XMM-LSS, COSMOS, and ELAIS-S1) with redshifts from the Prism Multi-object Survey to identify 242 AGNs with L 2-10 keV = 1042-44 erg s–1 within a parent sample of ~25,000 galaxies at 0.2 < z < 1.0 over ~3.4 deg2 and to i ~ 23. We find that although the fraction of galaxies hosting an AGN at fixed X-ray luminosity rises strongly with stellar mass, the distribution of X-ray luminosities is independent of mass. Furthermore, we show that the probability that a galaxy will host an AGN can be defined by a universal Eddington ratio distribution that is independent of the host galaxy stellar mass and has a power-law shape with slope –0.65. These results demonstrate that AGNs are prevalent at all stellar masses in the range and that the same physical processes regulate AGN activity in all galaxies in this stellar mass range. While a higher AGN fraction may be observed in massive galaxies, this is a selection effect related to the underlying Eddington ratio distribution. We also find that the AGN fraction drops rapidly between z ~ 1 and the present day and is moderately enhanced (factor ~2) in galaxies with blue or green optical colors. Consequently, while AGN activity and star formation appear to be globally correlated, we do not find evidence that the presence of an AGN is related to the quenching of star formation or the color transformation of galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2012; 746(1):90. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the galaxy optical luminosity function for the redshift range 0.05<z<0.75 from the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES), a spectroscopic survey of 7.6 sq. deg. in the Bootes field of the NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey. Our statistical sample is comprised of 12,473 galaxies with known redshifts down to I=20.4 (AB). Our results at low redshift are consistent with those from SDSS; at higher redshift, we find strong evidence for evolution in the luminosity function, including differential evolution between blue and red galaxies. We find that the luminosity density evolves as (1+z)^(0.54+/-0.64) for red galaxies and (1+z)^(1.64+/-0.39) for blue galaxies.
    01/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: An abundance of observations show that nearly all galaxies host a central supermassive black hole (SMBH). We also know that galaxy mergers are common within separations > 10 kpc. It is hard to estimate the galaxy merger rate directly, without knowing how many galaxy mergers exist within smaller separations. However, we can use pairs of active galaxies as an indirect tracer of it. We present two methods to search for active black holes in merging galaxies. Our first technique involves a search for double-peaked narrow line emissions that are a signature of a dual AGN merger. We identify two type 2 AGN with double-peaked Hb, [O III] 5007, Ha, and [N II] 6584 narrow emission lines selected from the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES). Through the use of double Gaussian fitting, we measure the red and blue components of offset velocity for each emission line. The double-peaked profiles may be explained by the orbital mechanics of dual AGN, bipolar outflows, or rotating gaseous disks. Additional observations are required to determine further clarification. Our second method includes a search for cases of dual SMBHs, where only one of the black holes is active. The AGN in one of the merging galaxies can be detected by a uniform offset in the emission line velocities. We detect five candidates of offset AGN, whose emission line offset velocities agree within each other's error. With the combination of our results and the other discoveries of kpc-scale galaxy mergers, we can produce a more detailed analysis of the rate and nuclear triggering of galaxy mergers.
    01/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: We measure the gas-phase oxygen abundances of ~3000 star-forming galaxies at z=0.05-0.75 using optical spectrophotometry from the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES), a spectroscopic survey of I_AB<20.45 galaxies over 7.9 deg^2 in the NOAO Deep Wide Field Survey (NDWFS) Bootes field. We use state-of-the-art techniques to measure the nebular emission lines and stellar masses, and explore and quantify several potential sources of systematic error, including the choice of metallicity diagnostic, aperture bias, and contamination from unidentified active galactic nuclei (AGN). Combining volume-limited AGES samples in six independent redshift bins and ~75,000 star-forming galaxies with r_AB<17.6 at z=0.05-0.2 selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) that we analyze in the identical manner, we measure the evolution of the stellar mass-metallicity (M-Z) between z=0.05 and z=0.75. We find that at fixed stellar mass galaxies at z~0.7 have just 30%-60% the metal content of galaxies at the present epoch, where the uncertainty is dominated by the strong-line method used to measure the metallicity. Moreover, we find no statistically significant evidence that the M-Z relation evolves in a mass-dependent way for M=10^9.8-10^11 Msun star-forming galaxies. Thus, for this range of redshifts and stellar masses the M-Z relation simply shifts toward lower metallicity with increasing redshift without changing its shape.
    12/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: The AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES) is a redshift survey covering, in its standard fields, 7.7 square degrees of the Bootes field of the NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey (NDWFS). The final sample consists of 23745 redshifts. There are well-defined galaxy samples in ten bands (the Bw, R, I, J, K, IRAC 3.6, 4.5, 5.8 and 8.0 micron and MIPS 24 micron bands) to a limiting magnitude of I<20 mag for spectroscopy. For these galaxies, we obtained 18163 redshifts from a sample of 35200 galaxies, where random sparse sampling was used to define statistically complete sub-samples in all ten photometric bands. The median galaxy redshift is 0.31, and 90% of the redshifts are in the range 0.085<z<0.66. AGN were selected as radio, X-ray, IRAC mid-IR and MIPS 24 micron sources to fainter limiting magnitudes (I<22.5 mag for point sources). Redshifts were obtained for 4764 quasars and galaxies with AGN signatures, with 2926, 1718, 605, 119 and 13 above redshifts of 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. We detail all the AGES selection procedures and present the complete spectroscopic redshift catalogs, spectra, and spectral energy distribution decompositions. The photometric redshift estimates are for all sources in the AGES samples.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 10/2011; 200(1). · 16.24 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
326.70 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Department of Physics
      San Diego, California, United States
    • CUNY Graduate Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2006–2013
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Astronomy
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 2009–2012
    • Princeton University
      • Department of Astrophysical Sciences
      Princeton, NJ, United States
  • 2008
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2007
    • IEEC Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain