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Low mass galaxies as cosmological tools

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Thanks to revolutions over the past few decades in how we image the sky, astronomers have been able to detect ever fainter galaxies in our cosmic backyard. Some of these are fainter than a single giant star and – whilst visually unimpressive – they are extremely important tools in our quest to understand (1) how galaxies form and (2) what our Universe is made up of. In this talk, I will review how we use observations of the faintest galaxies to probe the nature of the Universe. I will show the work my group are doing to detect the faintest galaxies, measure and constrain the properties of dark matter, and to understand how star formation and reionisation progressed in the very early Universe.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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