Laura Hainline's Research

Laura Hainline

I study ultraluminous, dusty, star forming and active galaxies at high redshift, trying to understand how and when massive galaxies formed and the importance of highly obscured star formation to the build-up of stellar mass in galaxies. My research involves both imaging and spectral observations at optical through radio wavelengths, using both single-dish telescopes and interferometers. I am a recent addition to the Laboratory for Millimeter-Wave Astronomy at the University of Maryland, having recently finished my doctoral degree at Caltech.

ADS Listing for past 5 years

Characterizing Submillimeter-Selected Galaxies
Submillimeter-selected galaxies are dusty, highly luminous galaxies at high redshift and are thought to be analogous to the strongly star-forming ultraluminous infrared galaxies observed in the local Universe. Submillimeter-selected galaxies seem to be forming stars at hundreds to thousands of solar masses per year, and have been suggested as the progenitors of the massive, uniformly old elliptical galaxies observed in the local Universe. I have been working with Spitzer data to determine the near and mid-infrared properties of submillimeter-selected galaxies. Studying these galaxies in the near and mid-infrared, where the extinction effects of dust are minimized, yields important clues about the relative importance of obscured star formation and obscured nuclear activity and tells us about their underlying low-mass and evolved stellar populations.

Molecular Emission from High-Redshift Galaxies
I use the Green Bank Telescope and (hopefully soon) CARMA to detect millimeter-wave emission from highly abundant molecules like CO and HCN from high-redshift dusty galaxies. The emission from rotational transitions of molecules in high redshift galaxies gives important information about the mass and the temperature and density of the interstellar medium, from which we can infer the conditions under which star formation is occurring in galaxies.

High-Redshift MicroJansky Radio Galaxies
A population of optically faint radio sources has been found at high redshift which may be a variant of the very dusty high redshift submillimeter galaxies with higher dust temperature. Thus, faint radio galaxies may also be a significant source of obscured star formation; yet very little is actually known about the population. To learn more about them, I am working on an optical-infrared survey of faint (1.4 GHz flux < 100 microJy) radio sources in one of the deepest radio images ever taken, using data from Spitzer and optical data from a variety of telescopes.

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