Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Charles Danforth


Simulations suggest the intergalactic medium (IGM) may be enriched with metals via powerful galactic winds. However, galactic winds themselves are poorly understood. Simulations are useful tools for comprehending the processes that drive galactic winds, but they depend on empirical data to constrain them. Using AGN spectra, along with multi-object surveys, I investigate the associations between galaxies and IGM absorbers in the local universe (z < 0.16). My study found two major results. First, I found the maximum distance O VI extends from galaxies of various luminosities to be ~ 0.6 Mpc and 5 Rvir. This is an important value that must be matched by numerical simulations. Second, I used cumulative distribution functions to support the idea that low-luminosity galaxies may be responsible for enriching the IGM with metals, which is expected according to simulations.