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The photoheating of the intergalactic medium in synthesis models of the UV background


Puchwein, Ewald; Bolton, James S; Haehnelt, Martin G; Madau, Piero; Becker, George D; Haardt, Francesco (2015). The photoheating of the intergalactic medium in synthesis models of the UV background. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 450(4):4081-4097.

Abstract

We compare cosmological hydrodynamical simulations combined with the homogeneous metagalactic UV background (UVB) of Haardt & Madau (hereafter HM2012) to observations of the Lyman α forest that are sensitive to the thermal and ionization state of the intergalactic medium (IGM). The transition from optically thick to thin photoheating predicted by the simple one-zone, radiative transfer model implemented by HM2012 predicts a thermal history that is in remarkably good agreement with the observed rise of the IGM temperature at z∼3 if we account for the expected evolution of the volume filling factor of He iii. Our simulations indicate that there may be, however, some tension between the observed peak in the temperature evolution and the rather slow evolution of the He ii opacities suggested by recent Hubble Space Telescope/Cosmic Origins Spectrograph measurements. The HM2012 UVB also underpredicts the metagalactic hydrogen photoionization rate required by our simulations to match the observed opacity of the forest at z>4 and z<2

Abstract

We compare cosmological hydrodynamical simulations combined with the homogeneous metagalactic UV background (UVB) of Haardt & Madau (hereafter HM2012) to observations of the Lyman α forest that are sensitive to the thermal and ionization state of the intergalactic medium (IGM). The transition from optically thick to thin photoheating predicted by the simple one-zone, radiative transfer model implemented by HM2012 predicts a thermal history that is in remarkably good agreement with the observed rise of the IGM temperature at z∼3 if we account for the expected evolution of the volume filling factor of He iii. Our simulations indicate that there may be, however, some tension between the observed peak in the temperature evolution and the rather slow evolution of the He ii opacities suggested by recent Hubble Space Telescope/Cosmic Origins Spectrograph measurements. The HM2012 UVB also underpredicts the metagalactic hydrogen photoionization rate required by our simulations to match the observed opacity of the forest at z>4 and z<2

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Astronomy and Astrophysics
Physical Sciences > Space and Planetary Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:radiative transfer, methods: numerical, intergalactic medium, quasars: absorption lines, cosmology: theory
Language:English
Date:11 July 2015
Deposited On:31 Oct 2018 17:14
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 14:49
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv773

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