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Simulating Reionization in Numerical Cosmology

By Aaron Sokasian, Tom Abel and Lars E. Hernquist


The incorporation of radiative transfer effects into cosmological hydrodynamical simulations is essential for understanding how the intergalactic medium (IGM) makes the transition from a neutral medium to one that is almost fully ionized. Here, we present an approximate numerical method designed to study in a statistical sense how a cosmological density field is ionized by a set of discrete point sources. A diffuse background radiation field is also computed self-consistently in our procedure. The method requires relatively few time steps and can be employed with simulations having high resolution. We describe the details of the algorithm and provide a description of how the method can be applied to the output from a pre-existing cosmological simulation to study the systematic reionization of a particular ionic species. As a first application, we compute the reionization of He II by quasars in the range 3 ∼ < z ∼ < 6. PACS: 95.30.Jx; 98.80-

Topics: radiative transfer –cosmology, theory – galaxies, IGM
Year: 2001
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