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Paper: Type IIn Supernova Detections in z∼2 Lyman Break Galaxies: Probing the IMF Directly
Volume: 440, UP2010: Have Observations Revealed a Variable Upper End of the Initial Mass Function?
Page: 337
Authors: Cooke, J.; Sullivan, M.; Barton, E. J.; Ellis, R. S.; Gal-Yam, A.
Abstract: Type IIn supernovae (SNe IIn) exhibit luminous ultraviolet continua during outburst and luminous, long-lived narrow ultraviolet and optical emission lines attributed to circumstellar interaction. These properties have enabled successful detections at z∼2 in archival imaging and continued investigations from late-time spectroscopy. Because SNe IIn are believed to have massive (≳50M) progenitors, searches in the well-studied Lyman break galaxy (LBG) host population offer the prospect of testing the form of the high-redshift stellar initial mass function (IMF) in a high density star formation environment directly. I briefly discuss our z∼2 photometric detection method targeting LBGs in the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) and present data from the first 6 confirmed z∼2 SNe IIn pulled from 30 photometric SN candidates. A comparison of the color and magnitude distributions of the SN host galaxies to that of the full LBG sample finds that z∼2 SNe preferentially occur in bluer, fainter galaxies. I conclude with a discussion of an approach that uses the CFHTLS pilot sample to provide a first estimate of the form of the high-redshift IMF. Upcoming deep synoptic imaging surveys will greatly improve z∼2 SNe IIn statistics from ∼105 expected detections and future large aperture space- and ground-based telescopes will have the sensitivities to extend this work to ≳6.
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