Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Comparing cosmological hydrodynamic simulations with observations of high-redshift galaxy formation
by Finlator, Kristian Markwart, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2009, 357; 3369687
Abstract (Summary)

We use cosmological hydrodynamic simulations to study the impact of outflows and radiative feedback on high-redshift galaxies. For outflows, we consider simulations that assume (i) no winds, (ii) a "constant-wind" model in which the mass-loading factor and outflow speed are constant, and (iii) "momentum-driven" winds in which both parameters vary smoothly with mass. In order to treat radiative feedback, we develop a moment-based radiative transfer technique that operates in both post-processing and coupled radiative hydrodynamic modes.

We first ask how outflows impact the broadband spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of six observed reionization-epoch galaxies. Simulations reproduce five regardless of the outflow prescription, while the sixth suggests an unusually bursty star formation history. We conclude that (i) simulations broadly account for available constraints on reionization-epoch galaxies, (ii) individual SEDs do not constrain outflows, and (iii) SED comparisons efficiently isolate objects that challenge simulations.

We next study how outflows impact the galaxy mass metallicity relation (MZR). Momentum-driven outflows uniquely reproduce observations at z = 2. In this scenario, galaxies obey two equilibria: (i) The rate at which a galaxy processes gas into stars and outflows tracks its inflow rate; and (ii) The gas enrichment rate owing to star formation balances the dilution rate owing to inflows. Combining these conditions indicates that the MZR is dominated by the (instantaneous) variation of outflows with mass, with more-massive galaxies driving less gas into outflows per unit stellar mass formed.

Turning to radiative feedback, we use post-processing simulations to study the topology of reionization. Reionization begins in overdensities and then "leaks" directly into voids, with filaments reionizing last owing to their high density and low emissivity. This result conflicts with previous findings that voids ionize last. We argue that it owes to the uniqely-biased emissivity field produced by our star formation prescriptions, which have previously been shown to reproduce numerous post-reionization constraints.

Finally, preliminary results from coupled radiative hydrodynamic simulations indicate that reionization suppresses the star formation rate density by at most 10–20% by z = 5. This is much less than previous estimates, which we attribute to our unique reionization topology although confirmation will have to await more detailed modeling.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dave, Romeel, Ozel, Feryal
Commitee: Eisenstein, Daniel, Thompson, Rodger, Zaritsky, Dennis
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Astronomy
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Astronomy
Keywords: Cosmology, Galaxy formation, Galaxy evolution, High-redshift galaxies, Radiation transport
Publication Number: 3369687
ISBN: 9781109321326
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