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Abstract Detail

14 January, 2006 - 4:30 PM

Redshifted radio absorption lines: viewing the universe through rose colored glasses

Chris Carilli (NRAO)

Observations of absorption lines towards high redshift radio loud quasars provide a distance independent method to study baryonic matter throughout the universe. I will discuss mm and cm observations of the highest column density quasar absorption line systems, which arise in gas associated with primeval disk galaxies. Redshifted radio absorption lines provide the most direct probes of physical conditions in the absorbing gas, such as temperatures, densities, and sizes of the absorbing clouds, as well as exquisitely detailed astrochemistry across the cosmos. Moreover, the high precision of these measurements provide stringent constraints on the evolution of fundamental physical parameters, such as the fine structure constant, the electron-to-proton mass ratio, and the temperature of the CMB. I will summarize what is currently known, and derived, from the few high z molecular absorption line systems known. I will then discuss the Z-spectrometer specifications dictated by the study of these systems.


Conference Photo by Jim Condon - Click to enlarge