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Evolution of Metals and Stars in Damped Lyman-Alpha Galaxies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 March 2016

Varsha P. Kulkarni*
Affiliation:
University of South Carolina, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Columbia, SC 29208, U.S.A.

Abstract

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Damped Lyman-alpha absorbers in quasar spectra provide a unique tool to directly measure the abundances of elements in galaxies at red-shifts 0 < z < 5, and hence probe the chemical evolution of galaxies over > 90% of the age of the Universe. Since cosmic chemical evolution models predict the global metallicity of galaxies to increase with time, it is of great interest to determine whether DLAs actually show such a trend. We discuss statistical analysis of existing DLA Zn data to examine the metallicity-redshift relation, and a comparison of the observed data with models of cosmic chemical evolution. We also describe efforts to expand the DLA abundance sample at z < 1.5, where the current data are particularly sparse. Finally, we discuss emission-line imaging studies of the absorber galaxies and compare constraints on their star formation rates with models based on the global star formation history.

Type
I. Joint Discussions
Copyright
Copyright © Astronomical Society of Pacific 2005

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