The 2006 Spring Mini-Workshop: The End of the Dark Ages - From First Light to Reionization at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), was held from Monday, March 13, 2006 to Wednesday, March 15, 2006 with a reception on Monday, March 13, 2006.
Recent progress in a number of areas of astrophysics has allowed us to begin studying the epoch when neutral hydrogen in the Universe completed its reionization. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has provided us with the first sample of QSOs at z>6 and the first evidence that we may have seen the end of reionization. Searches for Lyman alpha emitting galaxies have been pushed to z=6.5 placing upper limits to the fraction of neutral hydrogen present at these redshift. At the same time, ultra deep HST surveys and surveys exploiting gravitational lensing are providing the first examples of galaxies at z>6. Finally, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe has indicated that a significant fraction of neutral hydrogen can have been reionized at much higher redshift. Some of these results are at first sight incompatible but there are many hints that we may be on the verge of achieving a coherent picture of the processes leading to the end of reionization. Therefore the time is ripe for a workshop on this subject at the Institute. The workshop could be the occasion to bring together the leading observers and theorists and would have the potential to serve as a turning point for future research in this field that is central for the JWST mission.
Workshop Organizing Committee:
Massimo Stiavelli, (Chair)