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The natural emergence of the correlation between H2 and star formation rate surface densities in galaxy simulations


Lupi, Alessandro; Bovino, Stefano; Capelo, Pedro R; Volonteri, Marta; Silk, Joseph (2018). The natural emergence of the correlation between H2 and star formation rate surface densities in galaxy simulations. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 474(3):2884-2903.

Abstract

In this study, we present a suite of high-resolution numerical simulations of an isolated galaxy to test a sub-grid framework to consistently follow the formation and dissociation of H2 with non-equilibrium chemistry. The latter is solved via the package krome, coupled to the mesh-less hydrodynamic code gizmo. We include the effect of star formation (SF), modelled with a physically motivated prescription independent of H2, supernova feedback and mass-losses from low-mass stars, extragalactic and local stellar radiation, and dust and H2 shielding, to investigate the emergence of the observed correlation between H2 and SF rate surface densities. We present two different sub-grid models and compare them with on-the-fly radiative transfer (RT) calculations, to assess the main differences and limits of the different approaches. We also discuss a sub-grid clumping factor model to enhance the H2 formation, consistent with our SF prescription, which is crucial, at the achieved resolution, to reproduce the correlation with H2. We find that both sub-grid models perform very well relative to the RT simulation, giving comparable results, with moderate differences, but at much lower computational cost. We also find that, while the Kennicutt–Schmidt relation for the total gas is not strongly affected by the different ingredients included in the simulations, the H2-based counterpart is much more sensitive, because of the crucial role played by the dissociating radiative flux and the gas shielding.

Abstract

In this study, we present a suite of high-resolution numerical simulations of an isolated galaxy to test a sub-grid framework to consistently follow the formation and dissociation of H2 with non-equilibrium chemistry. The latter is solved via the package krome, coupled to the mesh-less hydrodynamic code gizmo. We include the effect of star formation (SF), modelled with a physically motivated prescription independent of H2, supernova feedback and mass-losses from low-mass stars, extragalactic and local stellar radiation, and dust and H2 shielding, to investigate the emergence of the observed correlation between H2 and SF rate surface densities. We present two different sub-grid models and compare them with on-the-fly radiative transfer (RT) calculations, to assess the main differences and limits of the different approaches. We also discuss a sub-grid clumping factor model to enhance the H2 formation, consistent with our SF prescription, which is crucial, at the achieved resolution, to reproduce the correlation with H2. We find that both sub-grid models perform very well relative to the RT simulation, giving comparable results, with moderate differences, but at much lower computational cost. We also find that, while the Kennicutt–Schmidt relation for the total gas is not strongly affected by the different ingredients included in the simulations, the H2-based counterpart is much more sensitive, because of the crucial role played by the dissociating radiative flux and the gas shielding.

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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:1 March 2018
Deposited On:01 Mar 2019 15:06
Last Modified:17 Sep 2019 19:39
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx2874

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