Andrea Ferrara

Andrea Ferrara
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa | Normale · Faculty of Sciences

PhD

About

484
Publications
22,229
Reads
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20,755
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Introduction
My current research concerns the study of the first billion years of cosmic evolution with special emphasis on first stars and black hole formation, the intergalactic medium and the process of cosmic reionization. The research relies on a combination of theoretical/numerical models, and experimental data acquired with the most advanced instrumentation.
Additional affiliations
November 2009 - present
The University of Tokyo
Position
  • Joint Professor
November 2009 - present
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Introduction to Physical Cosmology, Undergraduate and Graduate Course
November 2008 - present
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
April 1993 - March 1994
June 1991 - February 1993
Space Telescope Science Institute
Field of study
  • Astrophysics
October 1988 - October 1991
University of Florence
Field of study
  • Astrophysics

Publications

Publications (484)
Article
Full-text available
We study the initial mass function (IMF) and hosting halo properties of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs, 104−6 M⊙) formed inside metal-free, UV-illuminated atomic-cooling haloes (virial temperature Tvir ≥ 104 K) either via the direct collapse of the gas or via an intermediate supermassive star (SMS) stage. These IMBHs have been recently advoca...
Article
Full-text available
We study cosmic metal enrichment via AMR hydrodynamical simulations in a (10 Mpc/h)$^3$ volume following the Pop III-Pop II transition and for different Pop III IMFs. We have analyzed the joint evolution of metal enrichment on galactic and intergalactic scales at z=6 and z=4. Galaxies account for <9% of the baryonic mass; the remaining gas resides...
Article
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It has been proposed that the first, intermediate-mass ( ≈ 105-6 M⊙) black holes might form through direct collapse of unpolluted gas in atomic-cooling haloes exposed to a strong Lyman–Werner (LW) or near-infrared (NIR) radiation. As these systems are expected to be Compton thick, photons above 13.6 eV are largely absorbed and reprocessed into lowe...
Article
Full-text available
Angular fluctuations of the Near InfraRed Background (NIRB) intensity are observed up to scales $\simlt 1^{\ensuremath{^{\circ}}}$. Their interpretation is challenging as even after removing the contribution from detected sources, the residual signal is $>10$ times higher than expected from distant galaxies below the detection limit and first stars...
Preprint
Full-text available
The earliest JWST observations have revealed an unexpected abundance of super-early ($z>10$), massive ($M_*\approx 10^9\, M_\odot$) galaxies at the bright-end ($M_{\rm UV}\approx -21$) of the ultraviolet luminosity function (UV LF). We present a minimal physical model that explains the observed galaxy abundance at $z=10-14$. The model primarily com...
Article
The neutral atomic gas content of individual galaxies at large cosmological distances has until recently been difficult to measure due to the weakness of the hyperfine H i 21 cm transition. Here we estimate the H i gas mass of a sample of main-sequence star-forming galaxies at z ∼ 6.5–7.8 surveyed for [C ii ] 158 μ m emission as part of the Reioniz...
Article
We present the average [C ii ] 158 μ m emission line sizes of UV-bright star-forming galaxies at z ∼ 7. Our results are derived from a stacking analysis of [C ii ] 158 μ m emission lines and dust continua observed by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), taking advantage of the large program Reionization Era Bright Emission Line...
Preprint
Full-text available
The neutral atomic gas content of individual galaxies at large cosmological distances has until recently been difficult to measure due to the weakness of the hyperfine HI 21-cm transition. Here we estimate the HI gas mass of a sample of main-sequence star-forming galaxies at $z\sim 6.5 - 7.8$ surveyed for [CII]$-158\mu$m emission as part of the Rei...
Article
Full-text available
Context. A tight relation between [C ii] 158 µm line luminosity and star formation rate (SFR) is observed in local galaxies. At high redshift (z > 5), galaxies instead deviate downwards from the local Σ [C ii] − Σ SFR relation. This deviation might be caused by different interstellar medium (ISM) properties in galaxies at early epochs. Aims. To tes...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present the average [CII] $158\,\rm{\mu m}$ emission line sizes of UV-bright star-forming galaxies at $z\sim7$. Our results are derived from a stacking analysis of [CII] $158\,\rm{\mu m}$ emission lines and dust continua observed by ALMA, taking advantage of the large program Reionization Era Bright Emission Line Survey (REBELS). We find that th...
Article
The Reionization Era Bright Emission Line Survey (REBELS) is a cycle-7 ALMA Large Program (LP) that is identifying and performing a first characterization of many of the most luminous star-forming galaxies known in the z > 6.5 universe. REBELS is providing this probe by systematically scanning 40 of the brightest UV-selected galaxies identified ove...
Article
Active galactic nuclei (AGN) feedback has a major impact onto the supermassive black-hole (SMBH) growth, the properties of the host galaxies, and their cosmic evolution. We investigate the effects of different kinetic feedback prescriptions on the observable properties of AGN and their host galaxies at z > 6 in a suite of zoom-in cosmological simul...
Article
Full-text available
Bright quasars, powered by accretion onto billion-solar-mass black holes, already existed at the epoch of reionization, when the Universe was 0.5–1 billion years old1. How these black holes formed in such a short time is the subject of debate, particularly as they lie above the correlation between black-hole mass and galaxy dynamical mass2,3 in the...
Article
We introduce SERRA, a suite of zoom-in high-resolution (1.2 × 104 M⊙, ≃ 25 pc at z = 7.7) cosmological simulations including non-equilibrium chemistry and on-the-fly radiative transfer. The outputs are post-processed to derive galaxy UV+FIR continuum and emission line properties. Results are compared with available multi-wavelength data to constrai...
Preprint
Full-text available
Luminous quasars powered by accretion onto billion solar mass black holes already exist at the epoch of Reionisation, when the Universe was 0.5-1 Gyr old. These objects likely reside in over-dense regions of the Universe, and will grow to form today's giant galaxies. How their huge black holes formed in such short times is debated, particularly as...
Preprint
The intensity mapping of the [CII] 158um line redshifted to the sub-mm window is a promising probe of the z>4 star formation and its spatial distribution into the large-scale structure. To prepare the first-generation experiments (e.g., CONCERTO), we need realistic simulations of the sub-mm extragalactic sky in spectroscopy. We present a new versio...
Preprint
Full-text available
The characterization of the dynamical state of galaxies up to z~7 is crucial for constraining the mechanisms driving the mass assembly in the early Universe. However, it is unclear whether the data quality of current and future observations is sufficient to perform a solid dynamical analysis. This paper defines the angular resolution and S/N requir...
Preprint
We investigate the ionizing properties of the pair of bright Ly$\alpha$ emitting galaxies BDF521 and BDF2195 at z=7.012 in order to constrain their contribution to the formation of the BDF "reionized bubble". We obtain constraints on UV emission lines (CIV$\lambda 1548$ doublet, HeII$\lambda 1640$, OIII]$\lambda 1660$ doublet, and CIII]$\lambda 190...
Article
We include a fully coupled treatment of metal and dust enrichment into the Delphi semi-analytic model of galaxy formation to explain the dust content of 13 Lyman Break Galaxies (LBGs) detected by the Atacama Large millimetre Array (ALMA) REBELS Large Program at z ≃ 7. We find that the galaxy dust mass, Md, is regulated by the combination of SNII du...
Preprint
Full-text available
We include a fully coupled treatment of metal and dust enrichment into the Delphi semi-analytic model of galaxy formation to explain the dust content of 13 Lyman Break Galaxies (LBGs) detected by the Atacama Large millimetre Array (ALMA) REBELS Large Program at $z\simeq 7$. We find that the galaxy dust mass, $M_d$, is regulated by the combination o...
Article
We analyse FIR dust continuum measurements for 14 galaxies (redshift z ≈ 7) in the ALMA REBELS Large Program to derive their physical properties. Our model uses three input data, i.e. (a) the UV spectral slope, β, (b) the observed UV continuum flux at 1500 Å, F1500, (c) the observed continuum flux at $\approx 158\, \mu$m, F158, and considers Milky...
Preprint
We analyse FIR dust continuum measurements for 14 galaxies ($z\approx 7$) in the ALMA REBELS LP to derive their physical properties. Our model uses three input data: (a) the UV spectral slope, $\beta$, (b) the observed UV continuum flux at $1500$A, $F_{\rm UV}$, (c) the observed continuum flux at $\approx 158\mu$m, $F_{158}$, and considers Milky Wa...
Article
ALMA observations have revealed the presence of dust in the first generations of galaxies in the Universe. However, the dust temperature Td remains mostly unconstrained due to the few available FIR continuum data at redshift z > 5. This introduces large uncertainties in several properties of high-z galaxies, namely their dust masses, infrared lumin...
Preprint
ALMA observations have revealed the presence of dust in the first generations of galaxies in the Universe. However, the dust temperature $T_d$ remains mostly unconstrained due to the few available FIR continuum data at redshift $z>5$. This introduces large uncertainties in several properties of high-$z$ galaxies, namely their dust masses, infrared...
Preprint
We introduce SERRA, a suite of zoom-in high-resolution ($\sim 10\,\rm pc$) cosmological simulations including non-equilibrium chemistry and on-the-fly radiative transfer. The outputs are post-processed to derive galaxy UV+FIR continuum and emission line properties. Results are compared with available multi-wavelength data to constrain the physical...
Article
Full-text available
The proposed THESEUS mission will vastly expand the capabilities to monitor the high-energy sky. It will specifically exploit large samples of gamma-ray bursts to probe the early universe back to the first generation of stars, and to advance multi-messenger astrophysics by detecting and localizing the counterparts of gravitational waves and cosmic...
Article
Full-text available
THESEUS, one of the two space mission concepts being studied by ESA as candidates for next M5 mission within its Comsic Vision programme, aims at fully exploiting Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB) to solve key questions about the early Universe, as well as becoming a cornerstone of multi-messenger and time-domain astrophysics. By investigating the first billi...
Article
We investigate the attenuation law in z ∼ 6 quasars by combining cosmological zoom-in hydrodynamical simulations of quasar host galaxies, with multi-frequency radiative transfer calculations. We consider several dust models differing in terms of grain size distributions, dust mass and chemical composition, and compare the resulting synthetic Spectr...
Preprint
We investigate the attenuation law in $z\sim 6$ quasars by combining cosmological zoom-in hydrodynamical simulations of quasar host galaxies, with multi-frequency radiative transfer calculations. We consider several dust models differing in terms of grain size distributions, dust mass and chemical composition, and compare the resulting synthetic Sp...
Article
We study the impact of deviations from the Kennicutt-Schmidt relation (quantified by the ‘burstiness’ parameter κs), gas metallicity (Z), and density (n) on the observed [OIII]88μm/[CII]158μm surface brightness ratios (Σ[OIII]/Σ[CII]) in nine galaxies at z ≈ 6 − 9. We first discuss possible biases in the measured Σ[OIII]/Σ[CII] ratios by comparing...
Preprint
We study the impact of deviations from the Kennicutt-Schmidt relation (quantified by the `burstiness' parameter $\kappa_s$), gas metallicity ($Z$), and density ($n$) on the observed [OIII]88$\mu$m/[CII]158$\mu$m surface brightness ratios ($\Sigma_{[OIII]}/\Sigma_{[CII]}$) in nine galaxies at $z\approx6-9$. We first discuss possible biases in the me...
Preprint
THESEUS, one of the two space mission concepts being studied by ESA as candidates for next M5 mission within its Comsic Vision programme, aims at fully exploiting Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB) to solve key questions about the early Universe, as well as becoming a cornerstone of multi-messenger and time-domain astrophysics. By investigating the first billi...
Preprint
The proposed THESEUS mission will vastly expand the capabilities to monitor the high-energy sky, and will exploit large samples of gamma-ray bursts to probe the early Universe back to the first generation of stars, and to advance multi-messenger astrophysics by detecting and localizing the counterparts of gravitational waves and cosmic neutrino sou...
Article
At redshift z > 5 the far-infrared (FIR) continuum spectra of main-sequence galaxies are sparsely sampled, often with a single data point. The dust temperature Td, SED thus has to be assumed in the FIR continuum fitting. This introduces large uncertainties regarding the derived dust mass (Md), FIR luminosity, and obscured fraction of the star forma...
Article
We investigate the infrared (IR) emission of high-redshift (z ∼ 6), highly star-forming (SFR > 100 M⊙ yr−1) galaxies, with/without Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), using a suite of cosmological simulations featuring dust radiative transfer. Synthetic Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) are used to quantify the relative contribution of stars/AGN to du...
Preprint
We investigate the infrared (IR) emission of high-redshift ($z\sim 6$), highly star-forming (${ {\rm SFR} > 100}$ $M_{\rm \odot} {\rm yr}^{-1}$) galaxies, with/without Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), using a suite of cosmological simulations featuring dust radiative transfer. Synthetic Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) are used to quantify the rel...
Preprint
Full-text available
At redshift $z>5$ the far-infrared (FIR) continuum spectra of main-sequence galaxies are sparsely sampled, often with a single data point. The dust temperature $T_{\rm d, SED}$ thus has to be assumed in the FIR continuum fitting. This introduces large uncertainties regarding the derived dust mass ($M_{\rm d}$), FIR luminosity, and obscured fraction...
Article
Several evidences indicate that Lyman Break Galaxies (LBG) in the Epoch of Reionization (redshift z > 6) might host massive black holes (MBH). We address this question by using a merger-tree model combined with tight constraints from the 7 Ms Chandra survey, and the known high-z super-MBH population. We find that a typical LBG with MUV = −22 residi...
Article
ALMA observations have revealed that [C ii] 158 μm line emission in high-z galaxies is ≈2–3 × more extended than the UV continuum emission. Here we explore whether surface brightness dimming (SBD) of the [C ii] line is responsible for the reported [C ii] deficit, and the large $L_{\rm [O\, \small {III}]}/L_{\rm [C\, \small {II}]}$ luminosity ratio...
Article
We study the effect of stellar feedback (photodissociation/ionization, radiation pressure, and winds) on the evolution of a Giant Molecular Cloud (GMC), by means of a 3D radiative transfer, hydrosimulation implementing a complex chemical network featuring H2 formation and destruction. We track the formation of individual stars with mass $M\gt 1\, {...
Article
We use high-resolution (≈10 pc), zoom-in simulations of a typical (stellar mass $M_\star \simeq 10^{10}\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$) Lyman Break Galaxy (LBG) at z ≃ 6 to investigate the stellar populations of its six dwarf galaxy satellites, whose stellar [gas] masses are in the range log (M⋆/M⊙) ≃ 6−9 [log (Mgas/M⊙) ≃ 4.3−7.75]. The properties and evoluti...
Preprint
We study the effect of stellar feedback (photodissociation/ionization, radiation pressure and winds) on the evolution of a Giant Molecular Cloud (GMC), by means of a 3D radiative transfer, hydro-simulation implementing a complex chemical network featuring ${\rm H}_2$ formation and destruction. We track the formation of individual stars with mass $M...
Article
We investigate the spatially-resolved morphology of galaxies in the early Universe. We consider a typical redshift z = 6 Lyman Break galaxy, “Althæa” from the SERRA hydrodynamical simulations. We create mock rest-frame ultraviolet, optical, and far-infrared observations, and perform a two-dimensional morphological analysis to deblend the galaxy dis...
Preprint
We study the structure of spatially resolved, line-of-sight velocity dispersion for galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization (EoR) traced by [CII] $158\mu\rm{m}$ line emission. Our laboratory is a simulated prototypical Lyman-break galaxy, "Freesia", part of the SERRA suite. The analysis encompasses the redshift range 6 < z < 8, when Freesia is in a v...
Preprint
We investigate the spatially-resolved morphology of galaxies in the early Universe. We consider a typical redshift z = 6 Lyman Break galaxy, "Althaea" from the SERRA hydrodynamical simulations. We create mock rest-frame ultraviolet, optical, and far-infrared observations, and perform a two-dimensional morphological analysis to de-blend the galaxy d...
Preprint
We use high-resolution ($\approx 10$ pc), zoom-in simulations of a typical (stellar mass $M_\star\simeq10^{10}M_\odot$) Lyman Break Galaxy (LBG) at $z\simeq 6$ to investigate the stellar populations of its six dwarf galaxy satellites, whose stellar [gas] masses are in the range $\log (M_\star/M_\odot) \simeq 6-9$ [$\log (M_{gas}/M_\odot) \simeq4.3-...
Article
ALMA observations have revealed the presence of dust in galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization (EoR; redshift z > 6). However, the dust temperature, Td, remains unconstrained, and this introduces large uncertainties, particularly in the dust mass determinations. Using an analytical and physically motivated model, we show that dust in high-z, star-fo...
Preprint
Full-text available
ALMA observations have revealed that [CII] 158$\mu$m line emission in high-z galaxies is ~2-3$\times$ more extended than the UV continuum emission. Here we explore whether surface brightness dimming (SBD) of the [CII] line is responsible for the reported [CII] deficit, and the large $L_{\rm [OIII]}/L_{\rm [CII]}$ luminosity ratio measured in early...
Article
We present a novel method to simultaneously characterize the star formation law and the interstellar medium properties of galaxies in the epoch of reionization (EoR) through the combination of [C ii] 158 μm (and its known relation with star formation rate) and C iii] λ1909 Å emission line data. The method, based on a Markov chain Monte Carlo algori...
Article
Recent stacked ALMA observations have revealed that normal, star-forming galaxies at z ≈ 6 are surrounded by extended (≈10 kpc) [C II] emitting halos which are not predicted by the most advanced, zoom-in simulations. We present a model in which these halos are the result of supernova-driven cooling outflows. Our model contains two free parameters,...
Preprint
Full-text available
ALMA observations have revealed the presence of dust in galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization (redshift $z>6$). However, the dust temperature, $T_d$, remains unconstrained, and this introduces large uncertainties, particularly in the dust mass determinations. Using an analytical and physically-motivated model, we show that dust in high-$z$, star-fo...
Preprint
We present a novel method to simultaneously characterise the star formation law and the interstellar medium properties of galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization (EoR) through the combination of [CII] 158$\mu$m (and its known relation with star formation rate) and CIII]$\lambda$1909{\AA} emission line data. The method, based on a Markov Chain Monte C...
Article
A tight relation between the [C ii] 158 $\mu$m line luminosity and star formation rate is measured in local galaxies. At high redshift (z > 5), though, a much larger scatter is observed, with a considerable (15–20 per cent) fraction of the outliers being [C ii]-deficient. Moreover, the [C ii] surface brightness ($\Sigma_{\rm [C\, \small {II}]}$) of...
Article
We present Atacama Large Millimiter/submillimiter Array (ALMA) observations of eight highly excited CO (${\rm J_{\rm up}}$ >8) lines and continuum emission in two z ∼ 6 quasars: SDSS J231038.88+185519.7 (hereafter J2310), for which CO(8-7), CO(9-8), and CO(17-16) lines have been observed, and ULAS J131911.29+095951.4 (J1319), observed in the CO(14-...
Preprint
A tight relation between the [CII]158$\mu$m line luminosity and star formation rate is measured in local galaxies. At high redshift ($z>5$), though, a much larger scatter is observed, with a considerable (15-20\%) fraction of the outliers being [CII]-deficient. Moreover, the [CII] surface brightness ($\Sigma_{\rm CII}$) of these sources is systemat...
Article
We study the formation and evolution of a sample of Lyman break galaxies in the epoch of reionization by using high-resolution (∼10 pc), cosmological zoom-in simulations part of the serra suite. In serra, we follow the interstellar medium thermochemical non-equilibrium evolution and perform on-the-fly radiative transfer of the interstellar radiatio...
Article
The intrinsic strength of the Ly α line in young, star-forming systems makes it a special tool for studying high-redshift galaxies. However, interpreting observations remains challenging due to the complex radiative transfer involved. Here, we combine state-of-the-art hydrodynamical simulations of ‘Althæa’, a prototypical Lyman Break Galaxy (LBG; s...
Article
Full-text available
We study the photoevaporation of Jeans-unstable molecular clumps by isotropic FUV (6 eV < hν < 13.6 eV) radiation, through 3D radiative transfer hydrodynamical simulations implementing a non-equilibrium chemical network that includes the formation and dissociation of H 2. We run a set of simulations considering different clump masses (M = 10 − 200...
Preprint
We study the photoevaporation of Jeans-unstable molecular clumps by isotropic FUV (6 eV $< {\rm h}\nu$ < 13.6 eV) radiation, through 3D radiative transfer hydrodynamical simulations implementing a non-equilibrium chemical network that includes the formation and dissociation of H$_2$. We run a set of simulations considering different clump masses ($...
Preprint
We study the kinematical properties of galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization via the [CII] 158$\mu$m line emission. The line profile provides information on the kinematics as well as structural properties such as the presence of a disk and satellites. To understand how these properties are encoded in the line profile, first we develop analytical mo...
Article
Full-text available
We study the kinematical properties of galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization via the [C II]158µm line emission. The line profile provides information on the kinematics as well as structural properties such as the presence of a disk and satellites. To understand how these properties are encoded in the line profile, first we develop analytical models...
Article
Full-text available
We study the formation and evolution of a sample of Lyman Break Galaxies in the Epoch of Reioni-sation by using high-resolution (∼ 10 pc), cosmological zoom-in simulations part of the serra suite. In serra, we follow the interstellar medium (ISM) thermo-chemical non-equilibrium evolution, and perform on-the-fly radiative transfer of the interstella...
Preprint
Full-text available
We study the formation and evolution of a sample of Lyman Break Galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization by using high-resolution ($\sim 10 \,{\rm pc}$), cosmological zoom-in simulations part of the SERRA suite. In SERRA, we follow the interstellar medium (ISM) thermo-chemical non-equilibrium evolution, and perform on-the-fly radiative transfer of the...