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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 1167 matches for " Alyson Brooks "
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Toward the Formation of Realistic Galaxy Disks
Alyson Brooks
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: In this review I demonstrate that a realistic model for the formation of galaxy disks depends on a proper treatment of the gas in galaxies. Historically, cosmological simulations of disk galaxy formation have suffered from a lack of resolution and a physically motivated feedback prescription. Recent computational progress has allowed for unprecedented resolution, which in turn allows for a more realistic treatment of feedback. These advances have led to a new examination of gas accretion, evolution, and loss in the formation of galaxy disks. Here I highlight the role that gas inflows, the regulation of gas by feedback, and gas outflows play in achieving simulated disk galaxies that better match observational results as a function of redshift.
Re-Examining Astrophysical Constraints on the Dark Matter Model
Alyson Brooks
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1002/andp.201400068
Abstract: Recent high-resolution simulations that include Cold Dark Matter (CDM) and baryons have shown that baryonic physics can dramatically alter the dark matter structure of galaxies. These results modify our predictions for observed galaxy evolution and structure. Given these updated expectations, it is timely to re-examine observational constraints on the dark matter model. A few observations are reviewed that may indirectly trace dark matter, and may help confirm or deny possible dark matter models. Warm Dark Matter (WDM) and Self-Interacting Dark Matter (SIDM) are currently the favorite alternative models to CDM. Constraints on the WDM particle mass require it to be so heavy that WDM is nearly indistinguishable from CDM. The best observational test of SIDM is likely to be in the dark matter distribution of faint dwarf galaxies, but there is a lack of theoretical predictions for galaxy structure in SIDM that account for the role of baryons.
Why Baryons Matter: The Kinematics of Dwarf Spheroidal Satellites
Alyson M. Brooks,Adi Zolotov
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/786/2/87
Abstract: We use high resolution cosmological simulations of Milky Way-mass galaxies that include both baryons and dark matter to show that baryonic physics (energetic feedback from supernovae and subsequent tidal stripping) significantly reduces the dark matter mass in the central regions of luminous satellite galaxies. The reduced central masses of the simulated satellites reproduce the observed internal dynamics of Milky Way and M31 satellites as a function of luminosity. We use these realistic satellites to update predictions for the observed velocity and luminosity functions of satellites around Milky Way-mass galaxies when baryonic effects are accounted for. We also predict that field dwarf galaxies in the same luminosity range as the Milky Way classical satellites should not exhibit velocities as low as the satellites, since the field dwarfs do not experience tidal stripping. Additionally, the early formation times of the satellites compared to field galaxies at the same luminosity may be apparent in the star formation histories of the two populations. Including baryonic physics in Cold Dark Matter models naturally explains the observed low dark matter densities in the Milky Way's dwarf spheroidal population. Our simulations therefore resolve the tension between kinematics predicted in Cold Dark Matter theory and observations of satellites, without invoking alternative forms of dark matter.
Bulge Formation via Mergers in Cosmological Simulations
Alyson M. Brooks,Charlotte R. Christensen
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-19378-6_12
Abstract: The latest generation of cosmological simulations are on the verge of being able to resolve the structure of bulges for the first time. Hence, we review the current state of bulge formation in cosmological simulations, and discuss open questions that can be addressed in the near future by simulators, with a particular focus on merger-driven bulge growth. Galaxy mergers have long been assumed to produce classical bulges in disk galaxies. Under this bulge-formation model, though, the high rates of mergers in Cold Dark Matter galaxy formation theory predict many more classical bulges than are observed. Furthermore, simulations of galaxy formation continue to generally produce too massive of bulges. Feedback offers a promising avenue for reducing merger-driven bulge growth by maintaining high gas fractions in galaxies and ejecting low-angular momentum gas driven to the centers of galaxies. After reviewing the results of relevant research that has been published to date, we use cosmological simulations to explore the ability of feedback to reduce or even prevent bulge growth during mergers. In dwarf galaxies, mergers actually reduce the central concentration of galaxies as the induced burst of star formation drives out low angular momentum material. This result shows the potential for feedback to reduce central mass growth. However, we also demonstrate that it is very difficult for current stellar feedback models to reproduce the small bulges observed in more massive disk galaxies like the Milky Way. We argue that feedback models need to be improved, or an additional source of feedback such as AGN is necessary to generate the required outflows.
A Baryonic Solution to the Missing Satellites Problem
Alyson M. Brooks,Michael Kuhlen,Adi Zolotov,Dan Hooper
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/765/1/22
Abstract: It has been demonstrated that the inclusion of baryonic physics can alter the dark matter densities in the centers of low-mass galaxies, making the central dark matter slope more shallow than predicted in pure cold dark matter simulations. This flattening of the dark matter profile can occur in the most luminous subhalos around Milky Way-mass galaxies. Zolotov et al. (2012) have suggested a correction to be applied to the central masses of dark matter-only satellites in order to mimic the affect of (1) the flattening of the dark matter cusp due to supernova feedback in luminous satellites, and (2) enhanced tidal stripping due to the presence of a baryonic disk. In this paper, we apply this correction to the z=0 subhalo masses from the high resolution, dark matter-only Via Lactea II (VL2) simulation, and find that the number of massive subhalos is dramatically reduced. After adopting a stellar mass to halo mass relationship for the VL2 halos, and identifying subhalos that are (1) likely to be destroyed by stripping and (2) likely to have star formation suppressed by photo-heating, we find that the number of massive, luminous satellites around a Milky Way-mass galaxy is in agreement with the number of observed satellites around the Milky Way or M31. We conclude that baryonic processes have the potential to solve the missing satellites problem.
The small-scale structure of the Magellanic Stream
Snezana Stanimirovic,John M. Dickey,Alyson M. Brooks
Physics , 2001, DOI: 10.1086/341892
Abstract: We have mapped in neutral hydrogen (HI) two regions at the northern tip of the Magellanic Stream, known as MS V and MS VI, using the Arecibo telescope. The small-scale structure of the MS shows clumpy and head-tail morphology. The spatial power spectrum of this star-free intergalactic medium has a power-law behavior with the density slope of -3.8. A gradual steepening of the power-law slope is seen when increasing the thickness of velocity slices.
The Dual Origin of Stellar Halos II: Chemical Abundances as Tracers of Formation History
Adi Zolotov,Beth Willman,Alyson Brooks,Fabio Governato,David W. Hogg,Sijing Shen,James Wadsley
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/721/1/738
Abstract: Fully cosmological, high resolution N-Body + SPH simulations are used to investigate the chemical abundance trends of stars in simulated stellar halos as a function of their origin. These simulations employ a physically motivated supernova feedback recipe, as well as metal enrichment, metal cooling and metal diffusion. As presented in an earlier paper, the simulated galaxies in this study are surrounded by stellar halos whose inner regions contain both stars accreted from satellite galaxies and stars formed in situ in the central regions of the main galaxies and later displaced by mergers into their inner halos. The abundance patterns ([Fe/H] and [O/Fe]) of halo stars located within 10 kpc of a solar-like observer are analyzed. We find that for galaxies which have not experienced a recent major merger, in situ stars at the high [Fe/H] end of the metallicity distribution function are more [alpha/Fe]-rich than accreted stars at similar [Fe/H]. This dichotomy in the [O/Fe] of halo stars at a given [Fe/H] results from the different potential wells within which in situ and accreted halo stars form. These results qualitatively match recent observations of local Milky Way halo stars. It may thus be possible for observers to uncover the relative contribution of different physical processes to the formation of stellar halos by observing such trends in the halo populations of the Milky Way, and other local L* galaxies.
Angular Momentum Evolution in Dark Matter Halos
Laura G. Book,Alyson Brooks,Annika H. G. Peter,Andrew J. Benson,Fabio Governato
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17824.x
Abstract: We have analyzed high resolution N-body simulations of dark matter halos, focusing specifically on the evolution of angular momentum. We find that not only is individual particle angular momentum not conserved, but the angular momentum of radial shells also varies over the age of the Universe by up to factors of a few. We find that torques from external structure are the most likely cause for this distribution shift. Since the model of adiabatic contraction that is often applied to model the effects of galaxy evolution on the dark-matter density profile in a halo assumes angular momentum conservation, this variation implies that there is a fundamental limit on the possible accuracy of the adiabatic contraction model in modeling the response of DM halos to the growth of galaxies.
Kinematic Evolution of Simulated Star-Forming Galaxies
Susan A. Kassin,Alyson Brooks,Fabio Governato,Benjamin J. Weiner,Jonathan P. Gardner
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/790/2/89
Abstract: Recent observations have shown that star-forming galaxies like our own Milky Way evolve kinematically into ordered thin disks over the last ~8 billion years since z=1.2, undergoing a process of "disk settling." For the first time, we study the kinematic evolution of a suite of four state of the art "zoom in" hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy formation and evolution in a fully cosmological context and compare with these observations. Until now, robust measurements of the internal kinematics of simulated galaxies were lacking as the simulations suffered from low resolution, overproduction of stars, and overly massive bulges. The current generation of simulations has made great progress in overcoming these difficulties and is ready for a kinematic analysis. We show that simulated galaxies follow the same kinematic trends as real galaxies: they progressively decrease in disordered motions (sigma_g) and increase in ordered rotation (Vrot) with time. The slopes of the relations between both sigma_g and Vrot with redshift are consistent between the simulations and the observations. In addition, the morphologies of the simulated galaxies become less disturbed with time, also consistent with observations, and they both have similarly large scatter. This match between the simulated and observed trends is a significant success for the current generation of simulations, and a first step in determining the physical processes behind disk settling.
The Relative Role of Galaxy Mergers and Cosmic Flows in Feeding Black Holes
Jillian Bellovary,Alyson Brooks,Marta Volonteri,Fabio Governato,Thomas Quinn,James Wadsley
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/779/2/136
Abstract: Using a set of zoomed-in cosmological simulations of high-redshift progenitors of massive galaxies, we isolate and trace the history of gas that is accreted by central supermassive black holes. We determine the origins of the accreted gas, in terms of whether it entered the galaxy during a merger event or was smoothly accreted. Furthermore, we designate whether the smoothly accreted gas is accreted via a cold flow or is shocked upon entry into the halo. For moderate-mass (10^6 - 10^7 Msun) black holes at z ~ 4, there is a preference to accrete cold flow gas than gas of shocked or merger origin. However, this result is a consequence of the fact that the entire galaxy has a higher fraction of gas from cold flows. In general, each black hole tends to accrete the same fractions of smooth- and merger-accreted gas as is contained in its host galaxy, suggesting that once gas enters a halo it becomes well-mixed, and its origins are erased. We find that the angular momentum of the gas upon halo entry is a more important factor; black holes preferentially accrete gas that had low angular momentum when it entered the galaxy, regardless of whether it was accreted smoothly or through mergers.
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