University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext 32215
Fax: (519) 746-8115
Optical wide integral field surveys of nearby galaxies are now becoming the norm. They allow one to drill down in a spatially resolved fashion the gas and stellar properties of thousands of galaxies. This offers a great opportunity to look at each galaxy in detail and to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies in aggregate. While progress is being made in the optical, the infrared regime has been relatively untapped due to a lack of wide integral field spectrographs (IFSes). Because the infrared traces the most abundant low mass stars as well as evolved stars, there is a preponderance of stellar features that can allow the detailed measurement of stellar population gradients and even the initial mass function (IMF) of these galaxies. We are in the process of completing the development of a wide integral field infrared spectrograph (WIFIS), which will be used to carry out a survey of nearby galaxies to study their stellar content (e.g. IMF, age, metallicity). WIFIS has an unrivalled large field of 50”x20” at a 2.3-meter telescope and has wavelength coverage of 0.9-1.35 microns at R~3,000. We will present the instrument’s capabilities, scientific goals, and survey plan, which will complement current optical integral field surveys (e.g. MaNGA, SAMI, CALIFA).
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office.