Blind Wide Area Surveys: Where will we find redshifted atomic and molecular absorption?

Curran, S. J.
Whiting, M. T.
Webb, J. K.
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Spectroscopy of redshifted radio absorption of atomic and molecular species provide excellent probes of the cold component of the gas in the early Universe which can be used to address many important issues, such as measuring baryonic content, probing large-scale structure and galaxy evolution, as well as obtaining independent measurements of various combinations of fundamental constants at large look-back times. However, such systems are currently very rare with only 80 detected in HI 21-cm and five in OH and millimetre-band species. Here we summarise the main selection criteria responsible for this and how the next generation of radio telescopes are expected to circumvent these through their wide instantaneous bandwidths and fields-of-view.
Comment: 6 pages, accepted by Proceedings of Science
Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics