Metal Strong Damped Lyman Alpha Systems And Their Context With The Local Group




Berg, Trystyn Andrew Munro

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Damped Lyman α systems (DLAs) are useful probes of the chemical enrichment of the universe as they provide accurate abundance measurements of many chemical species. Using a sample of 30 DLAs (with large metal column densities) observed with the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer on the Keck I telescope, the abundances of several elements (i.e. iron, zinc, chromium, silicon, sulphur, phosphorus, manganese, and boron) are derived and presented. A comparison is drawn between the abundances from these metal-rich DLAs with literature samples encompassing the largest compilation of high resolution observations of other DLAs, and stars from the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies to understand the astrophysical nature of DLAs. Furthermore, the first ever extragalactic study of boron is presented. Using the sample of 30 metal-rich DLAs, two 3σ detections and one near detection 2.97σ) were found. From the comparison of [B/O] and, for the first time, [B/S], with studies in the Milky Way, there appears to be an excess of boron relative to its parent nucleus (oxygen) in these three DLA systems, suggesting that there may be a higher cosmic ray flux in DLAs than in the Milky Way.



Chemical Evolution, Quasar Absorption Line Systems, Chemical Abundances, High Redshift Galaxies, Stellar Abundances