129 research outputs found

    Effects of baryons on the dark matter distribution in cosmological hydrodynamical simulations

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    Simulations including solely dark matter performed over the last three decades have delivered an accurate and robust description of the cosmic web and dark matter structures. With the advent of more precise cosmological probes, planned and ongoing, and dark matter detection experiments, this numerical modelling has to be improved to incorporate the complex non-linear and energetic processes taking place during galaxy formation. We use the ``Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environment'' (EAGLE) suite of cosmological simulations to investigate the effects of baryons and astrophysical processes on the underlying dark matter distribution. Many effects are expected and we investigate (i): the modification of the profile of halos from the Navarro-Frenk-White profile shape found in collisionless simulations, including the changes in the dark matter profiles themselves, (ii) the changes of the inner density profiles of rich clusters, where observations have suggested a deviation from the standard cold dark matter paradigm, (iii) the offset created by astrophysical process between the centre of galaxies and the centre of the dark matter halo in which they reside and, (iv) the changes in the shape of the dark matter profile due to baryons in the centre of Milky Way halos and the impact these changes have on the morphology of the annihilation signal that could be observed as an indirect proof of the existence of dark matter. In all cases we find that the baryons play a significant role and change the results found in collisionless simulations dramatically. This highlights the need for more simulations like EAGLE to better understand and analyse future cosmology surveys. We also conduct a thorough study of the hydrodynamics solver parameters used in these simulations, assess their impact on the simulated galaxy population and show how robust some of the EAGLE results are against such variations

    Energy equipartition between stellar and dark matter particles in cosmological simulations results in spurious growth of galaxy sizes

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    The impact of 2-body scattering on the innermost density profiles of dark matter haloes is well established. We use a suite of cosmological simulations and idealized numerical experiments to show that 2-body scattering is exacerbated in situations where there are two species of unequal mass. This is a consequence of mass segregation and reflects a flow of kinetic energy from the more to less massive particles. This has important implications for the interpretation of galaxy sizes in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations, which nearly always model stars with less massive particles than are used for the dark matter. We compare idealized models as well as simulations from the eagle project that differ only in the mass resolution of the dark matter component, but keep subgrid physics, baryonic mass resolution, and gravitational force softening fixed. If the dark matter particle mass exceeds the mass of stellar particles, then galaxy sizes – quantified by their projected half-mass radii, R50 – increase systematically with time until R50 exceeds a small fraction of the redshift-dependent mean interparticle separation, l (⁠ R 50 ≳0.05×l R50≳0.05×l ⁠). Our conclusions should also apply to simulations that adopt different hydrodynamic solvers, subgrid physics, or adaptive softening, but in that case may need quantitative revision. Any simulation employing a stellar-to-dark matter particle mass ratio greater than unity will escalate spurious energy transfer from dark matter to baryons on small scales

    Winds versus jets: a comparison between black hole feedback modes in simulations of idealized galaxy groups and clusters

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    Using the SWIFT simulation code, we compare the effects of different forms of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) feedback in idealized galaxy groups and clusters. We first present a physically motivated model of black hole (BH) spin evolution and a numerical implementation of thermal isotropic feedback (representing the effects of energy-driven winds) and collimated kinetic jets that they launch at different accretion rates. We find that kinetic jet feedback is more efficient at quenching star formation in the brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) than thermal isotropic feedback, while simultaneously yielding cooler cores in the intracluster medium (ICM). A hybrid model with both types of AGN feedback yields moderate star formation rates, while having the coolest cores. We then consider a simplified implementation of AGN feedback by fixing the feedback efficiencies and the jet direction, finding that the same general conclusions hold. We vary the feedback energetics (the kick velocity and the heating temperature), the fixed efficiencies and the type of energy (kinetic versus thermal) in both the isotropic and the jet case. The isotropic case is largely insensitive to these variations. On the other hand, jet feedback must be kinetic in order to be efficient at quenching. We also find that it is much more sensitive to the choice of energy per feedback event (the jet velocity), as well as the efficiency. The former indicates that jet velocities need to be carefully chosen in cosmological simulations, while the latter motivates the use of BH spin evolution models