Journal Article

The relationship between star formation rate and radio synchrotron luminosity at 0 < <i>z</i> < 2

Timothy Garn, David A. Green, Julia M. Riley and Paul Alexander

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 397, issue 2, pages 1101-1112
Published in print August 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The relationship between star formation rate and radio synchrotron luminosity at 0 < z < 2

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We probe the relationship between star formation rate (SFR) and radio synchrotron luminosity in galaxies at 0 < z < 2 within the northern Spitzer Wide-area Infrared Extragalactic survey (SWIRE) fields, in order to investigate some of the assumptions that go into calculating the star formation history of the Universe from deep radio observations. We present new 610-MHz Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) observations of the European Large-Area ISO Survey-North 2 (ELAIS-N2) field, and using this data, along with previous GMRT surveys carried out in the ELAIS-N1 (North 1) and Lockman Hole regions, we construct a sample of galaxies which have redshift and SFR information available from the SWIRE survey. We test whether the local relationship between SFR and radio luminosity is applicable to z= 2 galaxies, and look for evolution in this relationship with both redshift and SFR in order to examine whether the physical processes which lead to synchrotron radiation have remained the same since the peak of star formation in the Universe. We find that the local calibration between radio luminosity and star formation can be successfully applied to radio-selected high-redshift, high-SFR galaxies, although we identify a small number of sources where this may not be the case; these sources show evidence for inaccurate estimations of their SFR, but there may also be some contribution from physical effects such as the recent onset of starburst activity, or suppression of the radio luminosity within these galaxies.

Keywords: galaxies: evolution; galaxies: high-redshift; radio continuum: galaxies

Journal Article.  10008 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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