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High Redshift Lyman Limit and Damped Lyman-Alpha Absorbers

Storrie-Lombardi, L. J. and McMahon, R. G. and Irwin, M. J. and Hazard, C. (1995) High Redshift Lyman Limit and Damped Lyman-Alpha Absorbers. . (Submitted)

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We have obtained high signal:to:noise optical spectroscopy at 5Å resolution of 27 quasars from the APM z>4 quasar survey. The spectra have been analyzed to create new samples of high redshift Lyman-limit and damped Lyman-ɑ absorbers. These data have been combined with published data sets in a study of the redshift evolution and the column density distribution function for absorbers with logN(HI)≥ 17.5, over the redshift range 0.01 < z < 5. The main results are: Lyman limit systems: The data are well fit by a power law N(z) = N_0(1 + z)^y for the number density per unit redshift. For the first time intrinsic evolution is detected in the product of the absorption cross-section and comoving spatial number density for an Ω = 1 Universe. We find y = 1.55 (y = 0.5 for no evolution) and N_0 = 0.27 with >99.7% confidence limits for y of 0.82 & 2.37. Damped Lyɑ systems: The APM QSOs provide a substantial increase in the redshift path available for damped surveys for z > 3. Eleven candidate and three confirmed damped Lyɑ absorption systems, have been identified in the APM QSO spectra covering the redshift range 2.8 ≤ z ≤ 4.4 (11 with z > 3.5). Combining the APM survey confirmed and candidate damped Lyɑ absorbers with previous surveys, we find evidence for a turnover at z∼3 or a flattening at z∼2 in the cosmological mass density of neutral gas, Ωg. The Lyman limit survey results are published in Storrie-Lombardi, et al., 1994, ApJ, 427, L13. Here we describe the results for the DLA population of absorbers.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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Storrie-Lombardi, L. J.0000-0002-5987-5210
Additional Information:(Submitted on 24 Mar 1995)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170323-081823891
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:75346
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:23 Mar 2017 19:17
Last Modified:02 Jun 2023 01:30

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