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Faint dwarfs as a test of DM models: WDM versus CDM


Governato, Fabio; Weisz, Daniel; Pontzen, Andrew; Loebman, Sarah; Reed, Darren; Brooks, Alyson M; Behroozi, Peter; Christensen, Charlotte; Madau, Piero; Mayer, Lucio; Shen, Sijing; Walker, Matthew; Quinn, Thomas; Keller, Benjamin W; Wadsley, James (2015). Faint dwarfs as a test of DM models: WDM versus CDM. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 448(1):792-803.

Abstract

We use high resolution Hydro$+$N-Body cosmological simulations to compare the assembly and evolution of a small field dwarf (stellar mass ~ 10$^{6-7}$ M$\odot$, total mass 10$^{10}$ M$\odot$ in $\Lambda$ dominated CDM and 2keV WDM cosmologies. We find that star formation (SF) in the WDM model is reduced and delayed by 1-2 Gyr relative to the CDM model, independently of the details of SF and feedback. Independent of the DM model, but proportionally to the SF efficiency, gas outflows lower the central mass density through `dynamical heating', such that all realizations have circular velocities $<$ 20kms at 500$~$pc, in agreement with local kinematic constraints. As a result of dynamical heating, older stars are less centrally concentrated than younger stars, similar to stellar population gradients observed in nearby dwarf galaxies. Introducing an important diagnostic of SF and feedback models, we translate our simulations into artificial color-magnitude diagrams and star formation histories in order to directly compare to available observations. The simulated galaxies formed most of their stars in many $\sim$10 Myr long bursts. The CDM galaxy has a global SFH, HI abundance and Fe/H and alpha-elements distribution well matched to current observations of dwarf galaxies. These results highlight the importance of directly including `baryon physics' in simulations when 1) comparing predictions of galaxy formation models with the kinematics and number density of local dwarf galaxies and 2) differentiating between CDM and non-standard models with different DM or power spectra.

Abstract

We use high resolution Hydro$+$N-Body cosmological simulations to compare the assembly and evolution of a small field dwarf (stellar mass ~ 10$^{6-7}$ M$\odot$, total mass 10$^{10}$ M$\odot$ in $\Lambda$ dominated CDM and 2keV WDM cosmologies. We find that star formation (SF) in the WDM model is reduced and delayed by 1-2 Gyr relative to the CDM model, independently of the details of SF and feedback. Independent of the DM model, but proportionally to the SF efficiency, gas outflows lower the central mass density through `dynamical heating', such that all realizations have circular velocities $<$ 20kms at 500$~$pc, in agreement with local kinematic constraints. As a result of dynamical heating, older stars are less centrally concentrated than younger stars, similar to stellar population gradients observed in nearby dwarf galaxies. Introducing an important diagnostic of SF and feedback models, we translate our simulations into artificial color-magnitude diagrams and star formation histories in order to directly compare to available observations. The simulated galaxies formed most of their stars in many $\sim$10 Myr long bursts. The CDM galaxy has a global SFH, HI abundance and Fe/H and alpha-elements distribution well matched to current observations of dwarf galaxies. These results highlight the importance of directly including `baryon physics' in simulations when 1) comparing predictions of galaxy formation models with the kinematics and number density of local dwarf galaxies and 2) differentiating between CDM and non-standard models with different DM or power spectra.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:March 2015
Deposited On:22 Feb 2016 15:00
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:05
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
Additional Information:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu2720
Other Identification Number:arXiv:1407.0022v2

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