|Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 2005. 43:
Copyright © 2005 by . All rights reserved
This article is in LEVEL5 at the specific request of the author and
is derived from the on-line and publicly available version posted at
This article is in LEVEL5 at the specific request of the author and is derived from the on-line and publicly available version posted at astro-ph/0509481
For a PDF version of the article, click here.
Abstract. Observations of damped Ly systems offer a unique window on the neutral-gas reservoirs that gave rise to galaxies at high redshifts. This review focuses on critical properties such as the H I and metal content of the gas and on independent evidence for star formation. Together, these provide an emerging picture of gravitationally bound objects in which accretion of gas from the IGM replenishes gas consumed by star formation. Other properties such as dust content, molecular content, ionized-gas content, gas kinematics, and galaxy identifications are also reviewed. These properties point to a multi-phase ISM in which radiative and hydrodynamic feedback processes are present. Numerical simulations and other types of models used to describe damped Ly systems within the context of galaxy formation are also discussed.
Table of Contents