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Contact: F.X.Timmes
my one page vitae,
full vitae,
research statement, and
teaching statement.
On The Observability Of Individual Population Iii Stars And Their Stellar-mass Black Hole Accretion Disks Through Cluster Caustic Transits (2018)

In this paper we summarize panchromatic Extragalactic Background Light data to place upper limits on the integrated near-infrared surface brightness that may come from Population III stars and possible accretion disks around their stellar-mass black holes in the epoch of First Light, broadly taken from z $\simeq$ 7 - 17.

Theoretical predictions and recent near-infrared power-spectra provide tighter constraints on their sky-signal. We outline the physical properties of zero metallicity Population III stars from MESA stellar evolution models through helium-depletion, and black hole accretion disks at z $\gtrsim$ 7. We assume that second-generation non-zero metallicity stars can form at higher multiplicity, so that black hole accretion disks may be fed by Roche-lobe overflow from lower-mass companions. We use these near-infrared SB constraints to calculate the number of caustic transits behind lensing clusters that the James Webb Space Telescope and the next generation ground-based telescopes may observe for both Population III stars and their black hole accretion disks.

Typical caustic magnifications can be $\mu$ $\simeq$ 10$^4$ - 10$^5$, with rise times of hours and decline times of $\lesssim$ 1 year for cluster transverse velocities of $v_T$ $\lesssim$ 1000 km/s. Microlensing by intracluster medium objects can modify transit magnifications, but lengthen visibility times. Depending on black hole masses, accretion-disk radii and feeding efficiencies, stellar-mass black hole accretion-disk caustic transits could outnumber those from Population III stars. To observe Population III caustic transits directly may require to monitor 3 - 30 lensing clusters to AB $\lesssim$ 29 mag over a decade.


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panchromatic backgrounds
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Pop III HR diagram
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cluster caustics and magnification map
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redshift space distribution


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