The Inhomogeneous Background Of H-2-Dissociating Radiation During Cosmic Reionization
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The first, self-consistent calculations are presented of the cosmological, H-2-dissociating UV background produced during the epoch of reionization by the sources of reionization. Large-scale radiative transfer simulations of reionization trace the impact of all the ionizing starlight on the intergalactic medium (IGM) from all the sources in our simulation volume down to dwarf galaxies of mass similar to 10(8) M-circle dot, identified by very high resolution N-body simulations, including the self-regulating effect of IGM photoheating on dwarf galaxy formation. The UV continuum emitted below 13.6 eV by each source is then transferred through the same IGM, attenuated by atomic H Lyman series resonance lines, to predict the evolution of the inhomogeneous radiation background in the Lyman-Werner (LW) bands of H-2 between 11 and 13.6 eV. On average, the intensity of this LW background is found to rise to the threshold level at which dissociation suppresses H-2 cooling and star formation inside minihalos, long before reionization is complete. Spatial variations in the LW background are found which result from the clustering of sources associated with large-scale structure formation, such that intensity fluctuations correlate with matter density fluctuations. As a result, the LW background rises to the threshold level for H-2 suppression earlier in the vicinity of the reionization sources and their H II regions.