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The broadening of Lyman-α forest absorption lines.

Garzilli, A. and Theuns, T. and Schaye, J. (2015) 'The broadening of Lyman-α forest absorption lines.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 450 (2). pp. 1465-1476.


We provide an analytical description of the line broadening of H I absorbers in the Lyman-α forest resulting from Doppler broadening and Jeans smoothing. We demonstrate that our relation captures the dependence of the line width on column density for narrow lines in z ∼ 3 mock spectra remarkably well. Broad lines at a given column density arise when the underlying density structure is more complex, and such clustering is not captured by our model. Our understanding of the line broadening opens the way to a new method to characterize the thermal state of the intergalactic medium and to determine the sizes of the absorbing structures.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Intergalactic medium, Quasars: absorption lines, Large-scale structure of Universe.
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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2015 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:20 February 2015
Date deposited:19 February 2016
Date of first online publication:June 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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