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I plan to show a scientific snapshot of my work here from time to time. This is some of our recent work on the properties of molecular gas in high redshift quasar host galaxies with the Very Large Array (VLA). See Riechers et al. (2006) for details.

Riechers et al. (2006)

We have used the VLA to detect HCO+(J=1-0) emission emerging from the Cloverleaf Quasar. The Cloverleaf is a galaxy magnified by strong gravitational lensing and is situated at a redshift of 2.56. Therefore, this is the first detection of ionized molecular emission at high redshift. We are interested in studying HCO+, since it emerges from the star-forming regions in the host galaxy of this quasar, and traces the dense gas which is intimately connected to the star-forming cores in such molecular clouds. It is therefore considered not only to indicate regions of cold dense gas, but also to be a tracer of star formation itself. Apart from constraining the physical conditions for star formation in this galaxy, the comparison to the other detected molecules in the early universe - CO and HCN - potentially offers additional insight on the chemical conditions in this source. See Riechers et al. (2006) for details.
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