Graduate Student: Kelly A. Douglass
Abstract: We study how the environment aects galaxy evolution in the Universe by comparing the metallicities of galaxies in voids with similar-sized galaxies in more dense regions. We estimate the metallicity of 1429 void dwarf galaxies and 2563 non-void dwarf galaxies using data from the SDSS DR7. Ratios of the fluxes of emission lines, particularly those of the forbidden [OIII] and [SII] transitions, provide estimates of a region's electron temperature and number density. From these two quantities and the emission line intensities, we estimate the abundance of oxygen. We find very little difference between the two sets of galaxies. Comparison of metallicity with galaxy color also shows little difference between the two samples. Further study is needed to develop a reliable method for calculating the metallicity of metal-poor galaxies.
Advisor: Dr. Michael S. Vogeley