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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 2548 matches for " Max Pettini "
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Element Abundances through the Cosmic Ages
Max Pettini
Physics , 2003,
Abstract: The horizon for studies of element abundances has expanded dramatically in the last ten years. Once the domain of astronomers concerned chiefly with stars and nearby galaxies, this field has now become a key component of observational cosmology, as technological advances have made it possible to measure the abundances of several chemical elements in a variety of environments at redshifts up to z = 4, when the universe was in its infancy. In this series of lectures I summarise current knowledge on the chemical make-up of distant galaxies observed directly in their starlight, and of interstellar and intergalactic gas seen in absorption against the spectra of bright background sources. The picture which is emerging is one where the universe at z = 3 already included many of the constituents of today's galaxies-even at these early times we see evidence for Population I and II stars, while the `smoking gun' for Population III objects may be hidden in the chemical composition of the lowest density regions of the intergalactic medium, yet to be deciphered.
The First Galaxies: Clues from Element Abundances
Max Pettini
Physics , 2000, DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2000.0628
Abstract: It has recently become possible to measure directly the abundances of several chemical elements in a variety of environments at redshifts up to z = 5. In this review I summarise the latest observations of Lyman break galaxies, damped Lyman alpha systems and the Lyman alpha forest with a view to uncovering any clues which these data may offer to the first episodes of star formation. The picture which is emerging is one where the universe at z = 3 already included many of the components of today's galaxies--even at these early times we see evidence for Populations I and II stars, while the `smoking gun' for Population III objects may be hidden in the chemical composition of the lowest density regions of the IGM, yet to be deciphered.
Element Abundances at High Redshifts
Max Pettini
Physics , 1999,
Abstract: I review measurements of element abundances in different components of the high redshift universe, including the Lyman alpha forest, damped Lyman alpha systems, and Lyman break galaxies. Although progress is being made in all three areas, recent work has also produced some surprises and shown that established ideas about the nature of the damped Lyman alpha systems in particular may be too simplistic. Overall, our knowledge of metal abundances at high z is still very sketchy. Most significantly, there seems to be an order of magnitude shortfall in the comoving density of metals which have been measured up to now compared with those produced by the star formation activity seen in Lyman break galaxies. At least some of the missing metals are likely to be in hot gas in galactic halos and proto-clusters.
Estimating the mass density of neutral gas at $z < 1$
Priyamvada Natarajan,Max Pettini
Physics , 1997, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/291.1.28L
Abstract: We use the relationships between galactic HI mass and B-band luminosity determined by Rao & Briggs to recalculate the mass density of neutral gas at the present epoch based on more recent measures of the galaxy luminosity function than were available to those authors. We find $\Omega_{gas}(z=0) \simeq 5 \times 10^{-4}$ in good agreement with the original Rao & Briggs value, suggesting that this quantity is now reasonably secure. We then show that, if the scaling between H I mass and B-band luminosity has remained approximately constant since $z = 1$, the evolution of the luminosity function found by the Canada-France redshift survey translates to an increase of $\Omega_{gas}$ by a factor of $\approx 3$ at $z = 0.5 - 1$ . A similar value is obtained quite independently from consideration of the luminosity function of Mg II absorbers at $z = 0.65$. By combining these new estimates with data from damped \lya systems at higher redshift, it is possible to assemble a rough sketch of the evolution of $\Omega_{gas}$ over the last 90% of the age of the universe. The consumption of H I gas with time is in broad agreement with models of chemical evolution which include the effects of dust, although more extensive samples of damped \lya systems at low and intermediate redshift are required for a quantitative assessment of the dust bias.
On the Oxygen Abundance of Neutral Gas in I Zw 18
Max Pettini,Keith Lipman
Physics , 1995,
Abstract: Whether the H II regions of dwarf emission-line galaxies are self-polluted by the nucleosynthetic products of massive stars remains an open question, despite recent claims to the contrary. We show that the finding by Kunth and collaborators that the neutral interstellar medium of I Zw 18 has a metallicity one order of magnitude lower than that of the ionized gas is highly uncertain. The range of possible values of (O/H) admitted by the saturated O I absorption line used in their analysis is very large, spanning a factor of the order of 1000. We suggest that future observations of the intrinsically weaker S II 1256 multiplet offer the best prospects for measuring the true degree of metal enrichment of this dwarf galaxy.
Interstellar Titanium in the Galactic Halo
Keith Lipman,Max Pettini
Physics , 1994, DOI: 10.1086/175466
Abstract: We present observations of Ti~II~$\lambda 3384$ absorption towards 15 distant stars in the Galactic halo and the Magellanic Clouds. These new data extend existing surveys of the distribution of Ti$^+$ to larger distances from the plane of the Galaxy than sampled previously, allowing the scale height of titanium to be determined for the first time. We find $h_{Ti^+} = 1.5 \pm 0.2$~kpc, a value which although greater than those of other tracers of neutral gas, is not as large as had been suspected. We interpret the extended distribution of Ti$^+$ as an indication that its severe depletion in interstellar clouds in the disk is reduced at the lower densities prevailing in the halo. The data are consistent with a simple power-law dependence of the Ti abundance on the ambient density, with exponent $k \simeq -1$. If the model is correct, it implies that refractory elements like Ti are fully returned to the gas phase at distances beyond $\sim 1$ kpc from the plane of the Galaxy.
A new, precise measurement of the primordial abundance of Deuterium
Max Pettini,Ryan Cooke
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21665.x
Abstract: The metal-poor damped Lyman alpha (DLA) system at z = 3.04984 in the QSO SDSSJ1419+0829 has near-ideal properties for an accurate determination of the primordial abundance of deuterium, (D/H)_p. We have analysed a high-quality spectrum of this object with software specifically designed to deduce the best fitting value of D/H and to assess comprehensively the random and systematic errors affecting this determination. We find (D/H)_DLA = (2.535 +/-0.05) x 10^(-5), which in turn implies Omega_b h^2 = 0.0223 +/- 0.0009, in very good agreement with Omega_b h^2 (CMB) = 0.0222 +/- 0.0004 deduced from the angular power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background. If the value in this DLA is indeed the true (D/H)_p produced by Big-Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN), there may be no need to invoke non-standard physics nor early astration of D to bring together Omega_b h^2 (BBN) and Omega_b h^2 (CMB). The scatter between most of the reported values of (D/H)_p in the literature may be due largely to unaccounted systematic errors and biases. Further progress in this area will require a homogeneous set of data comparable to those reported here and analysed in a self-consistent manner. Such an endeavour, while observationally demanding, has the potential of improving our understanding of BBN physics, including the relevant nuclear reactions, and the subsequent processing of 4He and 7Li through stars.
The effects of rotation on Wolf--Rayet stars and on the production of primary nitrogen by intermediate mass stars
Georges Meynet,Max Pettini
Physics , 2003,
Abstract: We use the rotating stellar models described in the paper by A. Maeder & G. Meynet in this volume to consider the effects of rotation on the evolution of the most massive stars into and during the Wolf--Rayet phase, and on the post-Main Sequence evolution of intermediate mass stars. The two main results of this discussion are the following. First, we show that rotating models are able to account for the observed properties of the Wolf--Rayet stellar populations at solar metallicity. Second, at low metallicities, the inclusion of stellar rotation in the calculation of chemical yields can lead to a longer time delay between the release of oxygen and nitrogen into the interstellar medium following an episode of star formation, since stars of lower masses (compared to non-rotating models) can synthesize primary N. Qualitatively, such an effect may be required to explain the relative abundances of N and O in extragalactic metal--poor environments, particularly at high redshifts.
Near-pristine gas at high redshifts: a window on early nucleosynthesis
Max Pettini,Ryan Cooke
Physics , 2012,
Abstract: It has now become recognised that damped Lyman alpha systems play an important role in helping us unravel the origin of chemical elements. In this presentation, we describe the main results of a recently completed survey of the most metal-poor DLAs, aimed at complementing and extending studies of the oldest stars in the Galaxy. The survey has clarified a number of lingering issues concerning the abundances of C, N, O in the low metallicity regime, has revealed the existence of DLA analogues to Carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars, and is providing some of the most precise measures of the primordial abundance of Deuterium.
The Primordial Abundance of Deuterium: Ionization correction
Ryan Cooke,Max Pettini
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: We determine the relative ionization of deuterium and hydrogen in low metallicity damped Lyman-alpha (DLA) and sub-DLA systems using a detailed suite of photoionization simulations. We model metal-poor DLAs as clouds of gas in pressure equilibrium with a host dark matter halo, exposed to the Haardt & Madau (2012) background radiation of galaxies and quasars at redshift z~3. Our results indicate that the deuterium ionization correction correlates with the H I column density and the ratio of successive ion stages of the most commonly observed metals. The N(N II) / N(N I) column density ratio provides the most reliable correction factor, being essentially independent of the gas geometry, H I column density, and the radiation field. We provide a series of convenient fitting formulae to calculate the deuterium ionization correction based on observable quantities. The ionization correction typically does not exceed 0.1 per cent for metal-poor DLAs, which is comfortably below the current measurement precision (2 per cent). However, the deuterium ionization correction may need to be applied when a larger sample of D/H measurements becomes available.
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