Article

# Damped and sub-damped Lyman-α absorbers in z > 4 QSOs

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(Impact Factor: 4.48). 12/2009; 508(1). DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200811541
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ABSTRACT We present the results of a survey of damped (DLA, log N(H I) > 20.3) and sub-damped Lyman-α systems (19.5 < log N(H I) < 20.3) at z > 2.55 along the lines-of-sight to 77 quasars with emission redshifts in the range 4 < z_(em) < 6.3. Intermediate resolution (R ~ 4300) spectra were obtained with the Echellette Spectrograph and Imager (ESI) mounted on the Keck telescope. A total of 100 systems with log N(H I) > 19.5 were detected of which 40 systems are damped Lyman-α systems for an absorption length of ΔX = 378. About half of the lines of sight of this homogeneous survey have never been investigated for DLAs. We study the evolution with redshift of the cosmological density of the neutral gas and find, consistent with previous studies at similar resolution, that Ω_(DLA,HI) decreases at z > 3.5. The overall cosmological evolution of Ω_(HI) shows a peak around this redshift. The H I column density distribution for log N(H I) ≥ 20.3 is fitted, consistent with previous surveys, with a single power-law of index α ~ −1.8 ± 0.25. This power-law overpredicts data at the high-end and a second, much steeper, power-law (or a gamma function) is needed. There is a flattening of the function at lower H I column densities with an index of α ~ −1.4 for the column density range log N(H I) = 19.5−21. The fraction of H I mass in sub-DLAs is of the order of 30%. The H I column density distribution does not evolve strongly from z ~ 2.5 to z ~ 4.5.

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Available from: R. Guimarães, Aug 15, 2014
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##### Article: The neutral gas content of post-merger galaxies
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ABSTRACT: Measurements of the neutral hydrogen gas content of a sample of 93 post-merger galaxies are presented, from a combination of matches to the ALFALFA.40 data release and new Arecibo observations. By imposing completeness thresholds identical to that of the ALFALFA survey, and by compiling a mass-, redshift- and environment-matched control sample from the public ALFALFA.40 data release, we calculate gas fraction offsets (Delta f_gas) for the post-mergers, relative to the control sample. We find that the post-mergers have HI gas fractions that are consistent with undisturbed galaxies. However, due to the relative gas richness of the ALFALFA.40 sample, from which we draw our control sample, our measurements of gas fraction enhancements are likely to be conservative lower limits. Combined with comparable gas fraction measurements by Fertig et al. in a sample of galaxy pairs, who also determine gas fraction offsets consistent with zero, we conclude that there is no evidence for significant neutral gas consumption throughout the merger sequence. From a suite of 75 binary merger simulations we confirm that star formation is expected to decrease the post-merger gas fraction by only 0.06 dex, even several Gyr after the merger. Moreover, in addition to the lack of evidence for gas consumption from gas fraction offsets, the observed HI detection fraction in the complete sample of post-mergers is twice as high as the controls, which suggests that the post-merger gas fractions may actually be enhanced. We demonstrate that a gas fraction enhancement in post-mergers, relative to a stellar mass-matched control sample, would indeed be the natural result of merging randomly drawn pairs from a parent population which exhibits a declining gas fraction with increasing stellar mass.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 01/2015; 448(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu2744 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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##### Article: Damped Ly{\alpha} Absorption Systems in Semi-Analytic Models with Multiphase Gas
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ABSTRACT: We investigate the properties of damped Ly{\alpha} absorption systems (DLAs) in semi-analytic models of galaxy formation, including partitioning of cold gas in galactic discs into atomic, molecular, and ionized phases with a molecular gas-based star formation recipe. We investigate two approaches for partitioning gas into these constituents: a pressure-based and a metallicity-based recipe. We identify DLAs by passing lines of sight through our simulations to compute HI column densities. We find that models with "standard" gas radial profiles - where the average specific angular momentum of the gas disc is equal to that of the host dark matter halo - fail to reproduce the observed column density distribution of DLAs. These models also fail to reproduce the distribution of velocity widths {\Delta}v, overproducing low {\Delta}v relative to high {\Delta}v systems. Models with "extended" radial gas profiles - corresponding to gas discs with higher specific angular momentum - are able to reproduce quite well the column density distribution of absorbers over the column density range 19 < log NHI < 22.5 in the redshift range 2 < z < 3.5. The model with pressure-based gas partitioning also reproduces the observed line density of DLAs, HI gas density, and {\Delta}v distribution at z < 3 remarkably well. However all of the models investigated here underproduce DLAs and the HI gas density at z > 3. If this is the case, the flatness in the number of DLAs and HI gas density over the redshift interval 0 < z < 5 may be due to a cosmic coincidence where the majority of DLAs at z > 3 arise from intergalactic gas in filaments while those at z < 3 arise predominantly in galactic discs. We further investigate the dependence of DLA metallicity on redshift and {\Delta}v, and find reasonably good agreement with the observations, particularly when including the effects of metallicity gradients (abbrv.).
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2013; 441(2). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu613 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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##### Article: The Evolution of Lyman Limit Absorption Systems to Redshift Six
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ABSTRACT: We have measured the redshift evolution of the density of Lyman limit systems (LLS) in the intergalactic medium over the redshift range 0 < z < 6. We have used two new quasar samples to (1) improve coverage at z ~ 1, with GALEX grism spectrograph observations of 50 quasars with 0.8 < z_em < 1.3, and (2) extend coverage to z ~ 6, with Keck ESI spectra of 25 quasars with 4.17 < z_em < 5.99. Using these samples together with published data, we find that the number density of LLS per unit redshift, n(z), can be well fit by a simple evolution of the form n(z) = n_3.5 [(1+z)/4.5]^gamma, with n_3.5 = 2.80 +/- 0.33 and gamma = 1.94^(+0.36)_(-0.32) for the entire range 0 < z < 6. We have also reanalyzed the evolution of damped Lyman alpha systems (DLAs) in the redshift range 4 < z < 5 using our high-redshift quasar sample. We find a total of 17 DLAs and sub-DLAs, which we have analyzed in combination with published data. The DLAs with log (HI column density) > 20.3 show the same redshift evolution as the LLS. When combined with previous results, our DLA sample is also consistent with a constant Omega_DLA= 9 x 10^(-4) from z = 2 to z = 5. We have used the LLS number density evolution to compute the evolution in the mean free path of ionizing photons. We find a smooth evolution to z ~ 6, very similar in shape to that of Madau, Haardt & Rees (1999) but about a factor of two higher. Recent theoretical models roughly match to the z < 6 data but diverge from the measured power law at z > 6 in different ways, cautioning against extrapolating the fit to the mean free path outside the measured redshift range. Comment: To be published in ApJ. 30 pages, emulateapj style. Corrects typos in text and tables
The Astrophysical Journal 07/2010; 721(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1448 · 6.28 Impact Factor