Abundance histories for QSO absorption-line systems

F. X. Timmes, J. T. Lauroesch, J. W. Truran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Abundance histories for QSO absorption-line systems as a function of redshift are presented for all metals lighter than gallium. Coupling vanous conventional cosmological models with a simple, first-order model for the chemical evolution of the QSO absorption-line systems allows transformation of the observed abundance trends in the Galaxy to abundance histories for the gas in QSO absorption-line systems. Comparison of the transformed abundance patterns with the zinc to hydrogen [Zn/H] and silicon to hydrogen [Si/H] ratios observed in damped Lyα systems finds agreement over more than two orders of magnitude in abundance with a Λ = 0, Ω = 0.2-1.0, and τdelay = 3 Gyr cosmology, where τdelay is the time between the start of the big bang and the beginning of galaxy formation. Alternative meanings for the required time delay are explored along with extensions to the simple first-order model. Predictions are made for the abundance histories of elements not yet observed in QSO absorption-line systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-476
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Galaxies: abundances
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Quasars: absorption lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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