Absorption Signatures of the Gaseous Phases of Galaxies
High resolution quasar absorption line spectra, covering a wide variety of chemical transitions, provide an imprint from which we can extract detailed information on the physical conditions of gas. The kinematics, densities, ionization states and mechanisms, and temperatures can be inferred for the full range of gaseous environments. This information can then be used to understand the phase structure of galaxies. Guided by similar absorption studies of the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, we can begin to study different physical structures and processes in galaxies of various morphological types.
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