The ionization and abundance of C and Si in QSO absorbers The Ionization and Abundance of C and Si in QSO Absorbers

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We have analyzed high resolution data of absorption lines of Si and C in the absorption systems observed in the spectra of QSOs, in order to study the ionization state and the overabundance of Si with respect to C in the absorbers and also to study the change in these properties with redshift. No correlation is found between column density ratios of Si IV to C IV of intervening systems and redshift. The data do not provide any evidence for an abrupt change in the values of the ratio at any particular redshift unlike that for Lyman alpha forest clouds. We have compared the observed ratios of column densities of Si II and Si IV and of Si IV and C IV in different classes of absorption systems with predictions of photo ionization models for different shapes of the background radiation field. Overabundance of Si over C can be ruled out in several of the intervening systems for any shape of the background radiation. For these systems we can also rule out any contribution from the stellar sources to the background, which is then entirely from the AGNs. No overabundance is needed in other intervening systems if the radiation field from stellar sources contributes significantly to the UV background. Overabundance is, however, present in Lyman alpha forest clouds at redshifts larger than 3 and in systems associated with the QSOs. For all the intervening systems a minimum of 10 % of the background is contributed by the AGNs.


  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan  

    Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan 50(1), 13-18, 1998-02-25 

    The Astronomical Society of Japan

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