Evolution of the Luminosity Function of Extragalactic Objects
A non-parametric procedure for determination of the evolution of the luminosity function of extragalactic objects and use of this for prediction of expected redshift and luminosity distribution of objects is described. The relation between this statistical evolution of the population and their physical evolution, such as the variation with cosmological epoch of their luminosity and formation rate is presented. This procedure when applied to a sample of optically selected quasars with redshifts less than two shows that the luminosity function evolves more strongly for higher luminosities, indicating a larger quasar activity at earlier epochs and a more rapid evolution of the objects during their higher luminosity phases. It is also shown that absence of many quasars at redshifts greater than three implies slowing down of this evolution in the conventional cosmological models, perhaps indicating that this is near the epoch of the birth of the quasar (and galaxies). However, it has been shown that the same is not true in all cosmological models, in some of which the epoch of birth could be at much higher redshifts.
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