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Proposed Facility

All of this is good, solid science, unlike the flaky stuff the high redshift people are doing. These techniques use well-understood techniques, have good statistics and allow us to trace the different galaxy populations in detail as they evolve. It might not be as trendy and `Gee Wizz' as going after fuzzy blobs at redshift 5, but it is slowly, securely extending our knowledge of the universe.

The main challenge is to extend this work into the infrared. All the main emission-lines of typical galaxies disappear into the IR beyond redshift one, which puts an upper limit on what this technique can do. What is needed, therefore, is an infra-red multi-object spectrograph on an 8-m class telescope (or preferably several of them). With this, you can push all the good solid work you've been doing at lower redshifts out to redshift 2 or 3 and beyond, and come to really understand, in detail, the evolution of different classes of galaxies throughout the history of the universe.

You see your role in this meeting as bring all the crackpot high redshift people down to Earth (figuratively speaking). All their proposals may sound exciting, but the aim is not to produce excited astronomers but to learn about the history of the universe: anything that won't produce good solid interpretable data should be thrown out.

Paul Francis
Sun Aug 30 11:56:56 EST 1998