"Lyman Alpha Emission and Galaxy Formation: An Observer's Perspective"
Lyman alpha has long been used as a signpost of young galaxies in the distant Universe. I will describe some recent results and work in progress on two ongoing searches for Lyman alpha emission at "low"-redshift (z~2) for Lyman alpha "blobs" (giant, 100-kpc clouds of glowing, galaxy-forming gas) and much lower mass Lyman alpha emitters, which may be the building blocks of larger galaxies. I will also discuss some of the properties of the new blobs (one of which is a good candidate for an extremely low-metallicity galaxy forming environment) and report on sn ongoing study of the large-scale environments of the blobs.
I will also talk about the BigBOSS project planned for the Mayall telescope, a cost-effective dark energy project for this decade. I will describe the main scientific goals, the technical plan and the current status of this project.