We summarise recent results assessing the carbon and silicon abundances of the intergalactic medium (igm) using the `pixel optical depth' technique. We briefly discuss the implications of these results for models of intergalactic enrichment, focusing on distinguishing `early' z ≫ 4 enrichment by the first generations of stars and objects from `late' enrichment by 2 ≲ z≲ 5 Ly-break galaxies. We then discuss the comparison of observed QSO spectra to simulated spectra generated from cosmological simulations that self-consistently include enrichment, and draw qualitative implications for the general picture of intergalactic enrichment at z ≳ 2.
IAU Colloq. 199: Probing Galaxies through Quasar Absorption Lines
- Pub Date:
- March 2005
- 6 pages, to appear in proceedings of IAU 199 conference, "Probing Galaxies through Quasar Absorption Lines," eds. Williams, Shu, Menard