AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 97 Gas and Dust in Galaxies and the IGM
Oral, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 10:00-11:30am, Centennial IV

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[97.04] Evolution of Structure in the Lyman-alpha Forest

K.M. Burgess, S. Burles (MIT), SDSS Collaboration

Using a sample of 3376 quasar spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) we measure the probability distribution of flux in the Lyman-alpha forest as a function of redshift. This distribution is then compared with distributions generated from models that assume photoionization equilibrium and an underlying lognormal density. We find that the lognormal model underpredicts the probability of high optical depth systems in the Lyman-alpha forest but is an extremely good fit at lower optical depths. This measurement depends critically on a proper characterization of the noise in the SDSS spectra.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: kburgess@mit.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.