A snapshot survey for gravitational lenses among z ≥ 4.0 quasars. II. Constraints on the 4.0 < z < 5.4 quasar population

Gordon T. Richards, Zoltán Haiman, Bartosz Pindor, Michael A. Strauss, Xiaohui Fan, Daniel Eisenstein, Donald P. Schneider, Neta A. Bahcall, J. Brinkmann, Masataka Fukugita

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Abstract

We report on i-band snapshot observations of 157 Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasars at 4.0 < z < 5.4 using the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to search for evidence of gravitational lensing of these sources. None of the quasars appear to be strongly lensed and multiply imaged at the angular resolution (∼0″1) and sensitivity of HST. The nondetection of strong lensing in these systems constrains the z = 4-5 luminosity function to an intrinsic slope of β > -3.8(3 σ), assuming a break in the quasar luminosity function at M* 1450 ∼ -24.5. This constraint is considerably stronger than the limit of β > -4.63 obtained from the absence of lensing in four z > 5.7 quasars. Such constraints are important to our understanding of the true space density of high-redshift quasars and the ionization state of the early universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume131
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Early universe
  • Galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • Gravitational lensing
  • Quasars: general

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    Richards, G. T., Haiman, Z., Pindor, B., Strauss, M. A., Fan, X., Eisenstein, D., Schneider, D. P., Bahcall, N. A., Brinkmann, J., & Fukugita, M. (2006). A snapshot survey for gravitational lenses among z ≥ 4.0 quasars. II. Constraints on the 4.0 < z < 5.4 quasar population. Astronomical Journal, 131(1), 49-54. https://doi.org/10.1086/498063