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How AGN feedback and metal cooling shape cluster entropy profiles  [PDF]
Yohan Dubois,Julien Devriendt,Romain Teyssier,Adrianne Slyz
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19381.x
Abstract: Observed clusters of galaxies essentially come in two flavors: non cool core clusters characterized by an isothermal temperature profile and a central entropy floor, and cool-core clusters where temperature and entropy in the central region are increasing with radius. Using cosmological resimulations of a galaxy cluster, we study the evolution of its intracluster medium (ICM) gas properties, and through them we assess the effect of different (sub-grid) modelling of the physical processes at play, namely gas cooling, star formation, feedback from supernovae and active galactic nuclei (AGN). More specifically we show that AGN feedback plays a major role in the pre-heating of the proto-cluster as it prevents a high concentration of mass from collecting in the center of the future galaxy cluster at early times. However, AGN activity during the cluster's later evolution is also required to regulate the mass flow into its core and prevent runaway star formation in the central galaxy. Whereas the energy deposited by supernovae alone is insufficient to prevent an overcooling catastrophe, supernovae are responsible for spreading a large amount of metals at high redshift, enhancing the cooling efficiency of the ICM gas. As the AGN energy release depends on the accretion rate of gas onto its central black hole engine, the AGN responds to this supernova enhanced gas accretion by injecting more energy into the surrounding gas, and as a result increases the amount of early pre-heating. We demonstrate that the interaction between an AGN jet and the ICM gas that regulates the growth of the AGN's BH, can naturally produce cool core clusters if we neglect metals. However, as soon as metals are allowed to contribute to the radiative cooling, only the non cool core solution is produced.
Investigating the properties of AGN feedback in hot atmospheres triggered by cooling-induced gravitational collapse  [PDF]
Edward C. D. Pope,J. Trevor Mendel,Stanislav S. Shabala
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19669.x
Abstract: Radiative cooling may plausibly cause hot gas in the centre of a massive galaxy, or galaxy cluster, to become gravitationally unstable. The subsequent collapse of this gas on a dynamical timescale can provide an abundant source of fuel for AGN heating and star formation. Thus, this mechanism provides a way to link the AGN accretion rate to the global properties of an ambient cooling flow, but without the implicit assumption that the accreted material must have flowed onto the black hole from 10s of kiloparsecs away. It is shown that a fuelling mechanism of this sort naturally leads to a close balance between AGN heating and the radiative cooling rate of the hot, X-ray emitting halo. Furthermore, AGN powered by cooling-induced gravitational instability would exhibit characteristic duty cycles (delta) which are redolent of recent observational findings: delta is proportional to L_X/sigma_{*}^{3}, where L_X is the X-ray luminosity of the hot atmosphere, and sigma_{*} is the central stellar velocity dispersion of the host galaxy. Combining this result with well-known scaling relations, we deduce a duty cycle for radio AGN in elliptical galaxies that is approximately proportional to M_{BH}^{1.5}, where M_{BH} is the central black hole mass. Outburst durations and Eddington ratios are also given. Based on the results of this study, we conclude that gravitational instability could provide an important mechanism for supplying fuel to AGN in massive galaxies and clusters, and warrants further investigation.
Blowing cold flows away: the impact of early AGN activity on the formation of a brightest cluster galaxy progenitor  [PDF]
Yohan Dubois,Christophe Pichon,Julien Devriendt,Joseph Silk,Martin Haehnelt,Taysun Kimm,Adrianne Slyz
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sts224
Abstract: Supermassive black holes (BH) are powerful sources of energy that are already in place at very early epochs of the Universe (by z=6). Using hydrodynamical simulations of the formation of a massive M_vir=5 10^11 M_sun halo by z=6 (the most massive progenitor of a cluster of M_vir=2 10^15 M_sun at z=0), we evaluate the impact of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) on galaxy mass content, BH self-regulation, and gas distribution inside this massive halo. We find that SN feedback has a marginal influence on the stellar structure, and no influence on the mass distribution on large scales. In contrast, AGN feedback alone is able to significantly alter the stellar-bulge mass content by quenching star formation when the BH is self-regulating, and by depleting the cold gas reservoir in the centre of the galaxy. The growth of the BH proceeds first by a rapid Eddington-limited period fed by direct cold filamentary infall. When the energy delivered by the AGN is sufficiently large to unbind the cold gas of the bulge, the accretion of gas onto the BH is maintained both by smooth gas inflow and clump migration through the galactic disc triggered by merger-induced torques. The feedback from the AGN has also a severe consequence on the baryon mass content within the halo, producing large-scale hot superwinds, able to blow away some of the cold filamentary material from the centre and reduce the baryon fraction by more than 30 per cent within the halo's virial radius. Thus in the very young universe, AGN feedback is likely to be a key process, shaping the properties of the most massive galaxies.
Physical properties of simulated galaxy populations at z=2 - I. Effect of metal-line cooling and feedback from star formation and AGN  [PDF]
Marcel R. Haas,Joop Schaye,C. M. Booth,Claudio Dalla Vecchia,Volker Springel,Tom Theuns,Robert P. C. Wiersma
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt1487
Abstract: We use hydrodynamical simulations from the OWLS project to investigate the dependence of the physical properties of galaxy populations at redshift 2 on metal-line cooling and feedback from star formation and active galactic nuclei (AGN). We find that if the sub-grid feedback from star formation is implemented kinetically, the feedback is only efficient if the initial wind velocity exceeds a critical value. This critical velocity increases with galaxy mass and also if metal-line cooling is included. This suggests that radiative losses quench the winds if their initial velocity is too low. If the feedback is efficient, then the star formation rate is inversely proportional to the amount of energy injected per unit stellar mass formed (which is proportional to the initial mass loading for a fixed wind velocity). This can be understood if the star formation is self-regulating, i.e. if the star formation rate (and thus the gas fraction) increase until the outflow rate balances the inflow rate. Feedback from AGN is efficient at high masses, while increasing the initial wind velocity with gas pressure or halo mass allows one to generate galaxy-wide outflows at all masses. Matching the observed galaxy mass function requires efficient feedback. In particular, the predicted faint-end slope is too steep unless we resort to highly mass loaded winds for low-mass objects. Such efficient feedback from low-mass galaxies (M_* << 10^10 Msun) also reduces the discrepancy with the observed specific star formation rates, which are higher than predicted unless the feedback transitions from highly efficient to inefficient just below the observed stellar mass range.
A model for cosmological simulations of galaxy formation physics  [PDF]
Mark Vogelsberger,Shy Genel,Debora Sijacki,Paul Torrey,Volker Springel,Lars Hernquist
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt1789
Abstract: We present a new comprehensive model of the physics of galaxy formation designed for large-scale hydrodynamical simulations of structure formation using the moving mesh code AREPO. Our model includes primordial and metal line cooling with self-shielding corrections, stellar evolution and feedback processes, gas recycling, chemical enrichment, a novel subgrid model for the metal loading of outflows, black hole (BH) seeding, BH growth and merging procedures, quasar- and radio-mode feedback, and a prescription for radiative electro-magnetic (EM) feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN). The metal mass loading of outflows can be adjusted independently of the wind mass loading. This is required to simultaneously reproduce the stellar mass content of low mass haloes and their gas oxygen abundances. Radiative EM AGN feedback is implemented assuming an average spectral energy distribution and a luminosity-dependent scaling of obscuration effects. This form of feedback suppresses star formation more efficiently than continuous thermal quasar-mode feedback alone, but is less efficient than mechanical radio-mode feedback in regulating star formation in massive haloes. We contrast simulation predictions for different variants of our galaxy formation model with key observations. Our best match model reproduces, among other things, the cosmic star formation history, the stellar mass function, the stellar mass - halo mass relation, g-, r-, i-, z-band SDSS galaxy luminosity functions, and the Tully-Fisher relation. We can achieve this success only if we invoke very strong forms of stellar and AGN feedback such that star formation is adequately reduced in both low and high mass systems. In particular, the strength of radio-mode feedback needs to be increased significantly compared to previous studies to suppress efficient cooling in massive, metal-enriched haloes.
Neutral hydrogen in galaxy clusters: impact of AGN feedback and implications for intensity mapping  [PDF]
Francisco Villaescusa-Navarro,Susana Planelles,Stefano Borgani,Matteo Viel,Elena Rasia,Giuseppe Murante,Klaus Dolag,Lisa K. Steinborn,Veronica Biffi,Alexander M. Beck,Cinthia Ragone-Figueroa
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: By means of zoom-in hydrodynamic simulations we quantify the amount of neutral hydrogen (HI) hosted by groups and clusters of galaxies. Our simulations, which are based on an improved formulation of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), include radiative cooling, star formation, metal enrichment and supernova feedback, and can be split in two different groups, depending on whether feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) is turned on or off. Simulations are analyzed to account for HI self-shielding and the presence of molecular hydrogen. We find that the mass in neutral hydrogen of dark matter halos monotonically increases with the halo mass and can be well described by a power-law of the form $M_{\rm HI}(M,z)\propto M^{3/4}$. Our results point out that AGN feedback reduces both the total halo mass and its HI mass, although it is more efficient in removing HI. We conclude that AGN feedback reduces the neutral hydrogen mass of a given halo by $\sim50\%$, with a weak dependence on halo mass and redshift. The spatial distribution of neutral hydrogen within halos is also affected by AGN feedback, whose effect is to decrease the fraction of HI that resides in the halo inner regions. By extrapolating our results to halos not resolved in our simulations we derive astrophysical implications from the measurements of $\Omega_{\rm HI}(z)$: halos with circular velocities larger than $\sim25~{\rm km/s}$ are needed to host HI in order to reproduce observations. We find that only the model with AGN feedback is capable of reproducing the value of $\Omega_{\rm HI}b_{\rm HI}$ derived from available 21cm intensity mapping observations.
The effect of AGN feedback on the halo mass function  [PDF]
Weiguang Cui,Stefano Borgani,Giuseppe Murante
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu673
Abstract: [Abridged.] We investigate baryon effects on the halo mass function (HMF), with emphasis on the role played by AGN feedback. Halos are identified with both Friends-of-Friends (FoF) and Spherical Overdensity (SO) algorithms. We embed the standard SO algorithm into a memory-controlled frame program and present the {\bf P}ython spher{\bf I}c{\bf A}l {\bf O}verdensity code --- {\small PIAO}. For both FoF and SO halos, the effect of AGN feedback is that of suppressing the HMFs to a level even below that of Dark Matter simulations. The ratio between the HMFs in the AGN and in the DM simulations is $\sim 0.8$ at overdensity $\Delta_c=500$, a difference that increases at higher overdensity $\Delta_c=2500$, with no significant redshift and mass dependence. A decrease of the halo masses ratio with respect to the DM case induces the decrease of the HMF in the AGN simulation. The shallower inner density profiles of halos in the AGN simulation witnesses that mass reduction is induced by the sudden displacement of gas induced by thermal AGN feedback. We provide fitting functions to describe halo mass variations at different overdensities, which can recover the HMFs with a residual random scatter $\lt 5$ per cent for halo masses larger than $10^{13} ~h^{-1}{\rm M_\odot}$.
The self-regulated AGN feedback loop: the role of chaotic cold accretion  [PDF]
M. Gaspari
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: Supermassive black hole accretion and feedback play central role in the evolution of galaxies, groups, and clusters. I review how AGN feedback is tightly coupled with the formation of multiphase gas and the newly probed chaotic cold accretion (CCA). In a turbulent and heated atmosphere, cold clouds and kpc-scale filaments condense out of the plasma via thermal instability and rain toward the black hole. In the nucleus, the recurrent chaotic collisions between the cold clouds, filaments, and central torus promote angular momentum cancellation or mixing, boosting the accretion rate up to 100 times the Bondi rate. The rapid variability triggers powerful AGN outflows, which quench the cooling flow and star formation without destroying the cool core. The AGN heating stifles the formation of multiphase gas and accretion, the feedback subsides and the hot halo is allowed to cool again, restarting a new cycle. Ultimately, CCA creates a symbiotic link between the black hole and the whole host via a tight self-regulated feedback which preserves the gaseous halo in global thermal equilibrium throughout cosmic time.
The impact of mechanical AGN feedback on the formation of massive early-type galaxies  [PDF]
Ena Choi,Jeremiah P. Ostriker,Thorsten Naab,Ludwig Oser,Benjamin P. Moster
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv575
Abstract: We employ cosmological hydrodynamical simulations to investigate the effects of AGN feedback on the formation of massive galaxies with present-day stellar masses of $M_{stel} = 8.8 \times 10^{10} - 6.0 \times 10^{11} M_{sun}$. Using smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations with a pressure-entropy formulation that allows an improved treatment of contact discontinuities and fluid mixing, we run three sets of simulations of 20 halos with different AGN feedback models: (1) no feedback, (2) thermal feedback, and (3) mechanical and radiation feedback. We assume that seed black holes are present at early cosmic epochs at the centre of emerging dark matter halos and trace their mass growth via gas accretion and mergers with other black holes. Both feedback models successfully recover the observed M_BH - sigma relation and black hole-to-stellar mass ratio for simulated central early-type galaxies. The baryonic conversion efficiencies are reduced by a factor of two compared to models without any AGN feedback at all halo masses. However, massive galaxies simulated with thermal AGN feedback show a factor of ~10-100 higher X-ray luminosities than observed. The mechanical/radiation feedback model reproduces the observed correlation between X-ray luminosities and velocity dispersion, e.g. for galaxies with sigma = 200 km/s, the X-ray luminosity is reduced from $10^{42}$ erg/s to $10^{40}$ erg/s. It also efficiently suppresses late time star formation, reducing the specific star formation rate from $10^{-10.5}$ $yr^{-1}$ to $10^{-14}$ $yr^{-1}$ on average and resulting in quiescent galaxies since z=2, whereas the thermal feedback model shows higher late time in-situ star formation rates than observed.
The impact of AGN on their host galaxies  [PDF]
C. M. Harrison
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1017/S1743921314004098
Abstract: In these proceedings I briefly: (1) review the impact (or "feedback") that active galactic nuclei (AGN) are predicted to have on their host galaxies and larger scale environment, (2) review the observational evidence for or against these predictions and (3) present new results on ionised outflows in AGN. The observational support for the "maintenance mode" of feedback is strong (caveat the details); AGN at the centre of massive halos appear to be regulating the cooling of hot gas, which could in turn control the levels of future star formation (SF) and black hole growth. In contrast, direct observational support for more rapid forms of feedback, which dramatically impact on SF (i.e., the "quasar mode"), remains elusive. From a systematic study of the spectra of approx. 24000 z<0.4 AGN we find that extreme ionised gas kinematics are common, and are most prevalent in radio bright AGN (L[1.4GHz] >10^23 W/Hz). Follow-up IFU observations have shown that these extreme gas kinematics are extended over kilo-parsec scales. However, the co-existence of high-levels of SF, luminous AGN activity and radio jets raises interesting questions on the primary drivers and impact of these outflows. Galaxy-wide, high-mass outflows are being observed in an increasing number of AGN and are a plausible mechanism for the depletion of gas; however, there is still much work to be done to determine the physical processes that drive these outflows and to measure the level of impact that they have on their host galaxies.
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