AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 167 Quasars and Blazars
Oral, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Royal Palm 1-3

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[167.04] Examining Quasars at the Epoch of Peak Activity in the Universe -- methods for selection, observation, and application to the highest redshifts

K. Chiu (Johns Hopkins University)

When the search for quasars and their luminosity function is hindered by observational effects such as stellar contamination, decreasing numbers, or fading brightness of sources, the technique of spectral cloning can restore valuable information about the completeness of unseen or rarely-seen populations. In this dissertation presentation, I discuss how I have used the technique of quasar cloning, in conjunction with observations of quasars at redshifts 2.2 - 3.3, to characterize the peak of the quasar activity epoch and improve the faint high-redshift quasar luminosity function. Using SDSS and the 2dF instrument, we observed quasars in heavily contaminated color regions, and have assembled a sample of ~400 objects near the peak of quasar activity. Additional observations by our group at z~5 have shed light on the dependency of quasar numbers with absolute magnitude. Finally, I have also applied the technique to populations yet unseen above redshift 6.5, and I examine the strategies for selection of such targets by new near-infrared survey projects.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: chiu@pha.jhu.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.