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Scholars Day: April 15, 2009

Damped Lyman Alpha Systems at Low Redshifts

There is little known about the presence of damped Lyman alpha systems (DLAs) at low redshifts. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe, making up over 90% of all baryonic matter, and most of the neutral hydrogen is contained within DLAs. 105 spectra of low-redshift Lyman alpha systems taken by the Hubble Space Telescope were fit to find which systems were damped, resulting in a sample of over 20 systems found to be DLAs. The occurrence and properties of these large reservoirs of neutral hydrogen can help us understand the nature of galaxy evolution and star formation.

Presenter: Ryan Held (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Physics
Location: Fireside Lounge, Union
Time: 10:45 am (Session II)