Studying Galaxies in the Early Universe with Innovative Adaptive Optics Instrumentation
Shelley Wright

Studies of galaxies in the early universe (z > 1) have greatly benefited from recent advances in diffraction-limited techniques on 8-10m telescopes using adaptive optics (AO) and integral field spectroscopy. These innovative spectrographs have led to significant scientific achievements and are stimulating the design of future instrumentation. My talk will focus on development and use of the latest near-infrared instruments behind Keck Observatory's AO system. I will present OSIRIS and Keck AO observations of spatially resolved optical emission lines (e.g., Halpha, and [N II]) from high-redshift (1 < z < 3) star forming galaxies. These results are part of an ongoing survey to study the dynamics, chemical abundances, and active galactic nuclei (AGN) in early galaxies. The high spatial resolution and 2D capability of an integral field spectrograph has allowed the discovery of some of the lowest luminosity AGN known at this epoch, and I will discuss their potential impact on high-redshift metallicity studies and galaxy formation. Lastly, I will discuss future instrumentation upgrades for OSIRIS and development of new instrumentation on extremely large telescopes (30m), which will offer extraordinary potential to probe the dynamics, assembly, and abundances of galaxies in the early universe.