A Caltech Library Service

The Fundamental Plane of Damped Lyα Systems

Neeleman, Marcel and Wolfe, Arthur M. and Prochaska, J. Xavier and Rafelski, Marc (2013) The Fundamental Plane of Damped Lyα Systems. Astrophysical Journal, 769 (1). Art. No. 54. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/769/1/54.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Using a sample of 100 H I-selected damped Lyα (DLA) systems, observed with the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer on the Keck I telescope, we present evidence that the scatter in the well-studied correlation between the redshift and metallicity of a DLA is largely due to the existence of a mass-metallicity relationship at each redshift. To describe the fundamental relations that exist between redshift, metallicity, and mass, we use a fundamental plane description, which is described by the following equation: [M/H] = (– 1.9 ± 0.5) + (0.74 ± 0.21) centerdot logΔv_90 – (0.32 ± 0.06) centerdot z. Here, we assert that the velocity width, Δv_90, which is defined as the velocity interval containing 90% of the integrated optical depth, traces the mass of the underlying dark matter halo. This description provides two significant improvements over the individual descriptions of the mass-metallicity correlation and metallicity-redshift correlation. Firstly, the fundamental equation reduces the scatter around both relationships by about 20%, providing a more stringent constraint on numerical simulations modeling DLAs. Secondly, it confirms that the dark matter halos that host DLAs satisfy a mass-metallicity relationship at each redshift between redshifts 2 through 5.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Neeleman, Marcel0000-0002-9838-8191
Prochaska, J. Xavier0000-0002-7738-6875
Rafelski, Marc0000-0002-9946-4731
Additional Information:© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 December 5; accepted 2013 April 4; published 2013 May 3. Support for this work was provided by NSF grant 11-09447. The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: abundances; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: ISM; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; quasars: absorption lines
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130711-104339290
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The Fundamental Plane of Damped Lyα Systems Marcel Neeleman et al. 2013 ApJ 769 54
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39314
Deposited On:11 Jul 2013 20:54
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:44

Repository Staff Only: item control page