David H. Weinberg

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States

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Publications (369)1398.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: (Abridged) We detect the large-scale structure of Lya emission in the Universe at redshifts z=2-3.5 by measuring the cross-correlation of Lya surface brightness with quasars in SDSS/BOSS. We use a million spectra targeting Luminous Red Galaxies at z<0.8, after subtracting a best fit model galaxy spectrum from each one, as an estimate of the high-redshift Lya surface brightness. The quasar-Lya emission cross-correlation we detect has a shape consistent with a LambdaCDM model with Omega_M =0.30^+0.10-0.07. The predicted amplitude of this cross-correlation is proportional to the product of the mean Lya surface brightness, , the amplitude of mass fluctuations, and the quasar and Lya emission bias factors. Using known values, we infer (b_alpha/3) = (3.9 +/- 0.9) x 10^-21 erg/s cm^-2 A^-1 arcsec^-2, where b_alpha is the Lya emission bias factor. If the dominant sources of Lya emission are star forming galaxies, we infer rho_SFR = (0.28 +/- 0.07) (3/b_alpha) /yr/Mpc^3 at z=2-3.5. For b_alpha=3, this value is a factor of 21-35 above previous estimates from individually detected Lya emitters, although consistent with the total rho_SFR derived from dust-corrected, continuum UV surveys. 97% of the Lya emission in the Universe at these redshifts is therefore undetected in previous surveys of Lya emitters. Our measurement is much greater than seen from stacking analyses of faint halos surrounding previously detected Lya emitters, but we speculate that it arises from similar Lya halos surrounding all luminous star-forming galaxies. We also detect redshift space anisotropy of the quasar-Lya emission cross-correlation, finding evidence at the 3.0 sigma level that it is radially elongated, consistent with distortions caused by radiative-transfer effects (Zheng et al. (2011)). Our measurements represent the first application of the intensity mapping technique to optical observations.
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    ABSTRACT: Using a sample of 69,919 red giants from the SDSS-III/APOGEE Data Release 12, we measure the distribution of stars in the [$\alpha$/Fe] vs. [Fe/H] plane and the metallicity distribution functions (MDF) across an unprecedented volume of the Milky Way disk, with radius $3<R<15$ kpc and height $|z|<2$ kpc. Stars in the inner disk ($R<5$ kpc) lie along a single track in [$\alpha$/Fe] vs. [Fe/H], starting with $\alpha$-enhanced, metal-poor stars and ending at [$\alpha$/Fe]$\sim0$ and [Fe/H]$\sim+0.4$. At larger radii we find two distinct sequences in [$\alpha$/Fe] vs. [Fe/H] space, with a roughly solar-$\alpha$ sequence that spans a decade in metallicity and a high-$\alpha$ sequence that merges with the low-$\alpha$ sequence at super-solar [Fe/H]. The location of the high-$\alpha$ sequence is nearly constant across the disk, however there are very few high-$\alpha$ stars at $R>11$ kpc. The peak of the midplane MDF shifts to lower metallicity at larger $R$, reflecting the Galactic metallicity gradient. Most strikingly, the shape of the midplane MDF changes systematically with radius, with a negatively skewed distribution at $3<R<7$ kpc, to a roughly Gaussian distribution at the solar annulus, to a positively skewed shape in the outer Galaxy. For stars with $|z|>1$ kpc or [$\alpha$/Fe]$>0.18$, the MDF shows little dependence on $R$. The positive skewness of the outer disk MDF may be a signature of radial migration; we show that blurring of stellar populations by orbital eccentricities is not enough to explain the reversal of MDF shape but a simple model of radial migration can do so.
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    ABSTRACT: We analyze the low-redshift (z~0.2) circumgalactic medium by comparing absorption-line data from the COS-Halos Survey to absorption around a matched galaxy sample from two cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. The models include different prescriptions for galactic outflows, namely hybrid energy/momentum driven wind (ezw), and constant winds (cw). We extract for comparison direct observables including equivalent widths, covering factors, ion ratios, and kinematics. Both wind models are generally in good agreement with these observations for HI and certain low ionization metal lines, but show poorer agreement with higher ionization metal lines including SiIII and OVI that are well-observed by COS-Halos. These discrepancies suggest that both wind models predict too much cool, metal-enriched gas and not enough hot gas, and/or that the metals are not sufficiently well-mixed. This may reflect our model assumption of ejecting outflows as cool and unmixing gas. Our ezw simulation includes a heuristic prescription to quench massive galaxies by super-heating its ISM gas, which we show yields sufficient low ionisation absorption to be broadly consistent with observations, but also substantial OVI absorption that is inconsistent with data, suggesting that gas around quenched galaxies in the real Universe does not cool. At impact parameters of <50 kpc, recycling winds dominate the absorption of low ions and even HI, while OVI almost always arises from metals ejected longer than 1 Gyr ago. The similarity between the wind models is surprising, since we show that they differ substantially in their predicted amount and phase distribution of halo gas. We show that this similarity owes mainly to our comparison here at fixed stellar mass rather than at fixed halo mass in our previous works, which suggests that CGM properties are more closely tied to the stellar mass of galaxies rather than halo mass.
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    ABSTRACT: The SDSS-III/APOGEE survey operated from 2011-2014 using the APOGEE spectrograph, which collects high-resolution (R~22,500), near-IR (1.51-1.70 microns) spectra with a multiplexing (300 fiber-fed objects) capability. We describe the survey data products that are publicly available, which include catalogs with radial velocity, stellar parameters, and 15 elemental abundances for over 150,000 stars, as well as the more than 500,000 spectra from which these quantities are derived. Calibration relations for the stellar parameters (Teff, log g, [M/H], [alpha/M]) and abundances (C, N, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, K, Ca, Ti, V, Mn, Fe, Ni) are presented and discussed. The internal scatter of the abundances within clusters indicates that abundance precision is generally between 0.05 and 0.09 dex across a broad temperature range; within more limited ranges and at high S/N, it is smaller for some elemental abundances. We assess the accuracy of the abundances using comparison of mean cluster metallicities with literature values, APOGEE observations of the solar spectrum and of Arcturus, comparison of individual star abundances with other measurements, and consideration of the locus of derived parameters and abundances of the entire sample, and find that it is challenging to determine the absolute abundance scale; external accuracy may be good to 0.1-0.2 dex. Uncertainties may be larger at cooler temperatures (Teff<4000K). Access to the public data release and data products is described, and some guidance for using the data products is provided.
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    ABSTRACT: The third generation of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) took data from 2008 to 2014 using the original SDSS wide-field imager, the original and an upgraded multi-object fiber-fed optical spectrograph, a new near-infrared high-resolution spectrograph, and a novel optical interferometer. All the data from SDSS-III are now made public. In particular, this paper describes Data Release 11 (DR11) including all data acquired through 2013 July, and Data Release 12 (DR12) adding data acquired through 2014 July (including all data included in previous data releases), marking the end of SDSS-III observing. Relative to our previous public release (DR10), DR12 adds one million new spectra of galaxies and quasars from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) over an additional 3000 sq. deg of sky, more than triples the number of H-band spectra of stars as part of the Apache Point Observatory (APO) Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), and includes repeated accurate radial velocity measurements of 5500 stars from the Multi-Object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS). The APOGEE outputs now include measured abundances of 15 different elements for each star. In total, SDSS-III added 5200 sq. deg of ugriz imaging; 155,520 spectra of 138,099 stars as part of the Sloan Exploration of Galactic Understanding and Evolution 2 (SEGUE-2) survey; 2,497,484 BOSS spectra of 1,372,737 galaxies, 294,512 quasars, and 247,216 stars over 9376 sq. deg; 618,080 APOGEE spectra of 156,593 stars; and 197,040 MARVELS spectra of 5,513 stars. Since its first light in 1998, SDSS has imaged over 1/3 the Celestial sphere in five bands and obtained over five million astronomical spectra.
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    ABSTRACT: We derive constraints on cosmological parameters and tests of dark energy models from the combination of baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) measurements with cosmic microwave background (CMB) and Type Ia supernova (SN) data. We take advantage of high-precision BAO measurements from galaxy clustering and the Ly-alpha forest (LyaF) in the BOSS survey of SDSS-III. BAO data alone yield a high confidence detection of dark energy, and in combination with the CMB angular acoustic scale they further imply a nearly flat universe. Combining BAO and SN data into an "inverse distance ladder" yields a 1.7% measurement of $H_0=67.3 \pm1.1$ km/s/Mpc. This measurement assumes standard pre-recombination physics but is insensitive to assumptions about dark energy or space curvature, so agreement with CMB-based estimates that assume a flat LCDM cosmology is an important corroboration of this minimal cosmological model. For open LCDM, our BAO+SN+CMB combination yields $\Omega_m=0.301 \pm 0.008$ and curvature $\Omega_k=-0.003 \pm 0.003$. When we allow more general forms of evolving dark energy, the BAO+SN+CMB parameter constraints remain consistent with flat LCDM. While the overall $\chi^2$ of model fits is satisfactory, the LyaF BAO measurements are in moderate (2-2.5 sigma) tension with model predictions. Models with early dark energy that tracks the dominant energy component at high redshifts remain consistent with our constraints, but models where dark matter decays into radiation are sharply limited. Expansion history alone yields an upper limit of 0.56 eV on the summed mass of neutrino species, improving to 0.26 eV if we include Planck CMB lensing. Standard dark energy models constrained by our data predict a level of matter clustering that is high compared to most, but not all, observational estimates. (Abridged)
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    ABSTRACT: We present constraints on the parameters of the $\Lambda$CDM cosmological model in the presence of massive neutrinos, using the one-dimensional Ly$\alpha$ forest power spectrum obtained with the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) by Palanque-Delabrouille et al. (2013), complemented by additional cosmological probes. The interpretation of the measured Ly$\alpha$ spectrum is done using a second-order Taylor expansion of the simulated power spectrum. BOSS Ly$\alpha$ data alone provide better bounds than previous Ly$\alpha$ results, but are still poorly constraining, especially for the sum of neutrino masses $\sum m_\nu$, for which we obtain an upper bound of 1.1~eV (95\% CL), including systematics for both data and simulations. Ly$\alpha$ constraints on $\Lambda$CDM parameters and neutrino masses are compatible with CMB bounds from the Planck collaboration. Interestingly, the combination of Ly$\alpha$ with CMB data reduces the uncertainties significantly, due to very different directions of degeneracy in parameter space, leading to the strongest cosmological bound to date on the total neutrino mass, $\sum m_\nu < 0.15$~eV at 95\% CL (with a best-fit in zero). Adding recent BAO results further tightens this constraint to $\sum m_\nu < 0.14$~eV at 95\% CL. This bound is nearly independent of the statistical approach used, and of the different combinations of CMB and BAO data sets considered in this paper in addition to Ly$\alpha$. Given the measured values of the two squared mass differences $\Delta m^2$, this result tends to favor the normal hierarchy scenario against the inverted hierarchy scenario for the masses of the active neutrino species.
    Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 10/2014; 2015(02). DOI:10.1088/1475-7516/2015/02/045 · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the measurements of the redshift-space three-point correlation function (3PCF) for $z\sim 0.5$ luminous red galaxies of the CMASS sample in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey Data Release 11. The 3PCF measurements are interpreted within the halo occupation distribution (HOD) framework using high-resolution N-body simulations, and the model successfully reproduces the 3PCF on scales larger than $1\,h^{-1}{\rm {Mpc}}$. As with the case for the redshift-space two-point correlation functions, we find that the redshift-space 3PCF measurements also require the inclusion of galaxy velocity bias in the model. In particular, the central galaxy in a halo on average is in motion with respect to the core of the halo. We discuss the potential of the small-scale 3PCF to tighten the constraints on the relation between galaxies and dark matter haloes and on the phase-space distribution of galaxies.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters 09/2014; 449(1). DOI:10.1093/mnrasl/slv020 · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We employ the first two years of data from the near-infrared, high-resolution SDSS-III/APOGEE spectroscopic survey to investigate the distribution of metallicity and alpha-element abundances of stars over a large part of the Milky Way disk. Using a sample of ~10,000 kinematically-unbiased red-clump stars with ~5% distance accuracy as tracers, the [alpha/Fe] vs. [Fe/H] distribution of this sample exhibits a bimodality in [alpha/Fe] at intermediate metallicities, -0.9<[Fe/H]<-0.2, but at higher metallicities ([Fe/H]=+0.2) the two sequences smoothly merge. We investigate the effects of the APOGEE selection function and volume filling fraction and find that these have little qualitative impact on the alpha-element abundance patterns. The described abundance pattern is found throughout the range 5<R<11 kpc and 0<|Z|<2 kpc across the Galaxy. The [alpha/Fe] trend of the high-alpha sequence is surprisingly constant throughout the Galaxy, with little variation from region to region (~10%). Using simple galactic chemical evolution models we derive an average star formation efficiency (SFE) in the high-alpha sequence of ~4.5E-10 1/yr, which is quite close to the nearly-constant value found in molecular-gas-dominated regions of nearby spirals. This result suggests that the early evolution of the Milky Way disk was characterized by stars that shared a similar star formation history and were formed in a well-mixed, turbulent, and molecular-dominated ISM with a gas consumption timescale (1/SFE) of ~2 Gyr. Finally, while the two alpha-element sequences in the inner Galaxy can be explained by a single chemical evolutionary track this cannot hold in the outer Galaxy, requiring instead a mix of two or more populations with distinct enrichment histories.
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    ABSTRACT: We present the measurements and modelling of the projected and redshift-space clustering of CMASS galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey Data Release 11. For a volume-limited luminous red galaxy sample in the redshift range of $0.48<z<0.55$, we perform halo occupation distribution modelling of the small- and intermediate-scale ($0.1$--$60h^{-1}{\rm {Mpc}}$) projected and redshift-space two-point correlation functions, with an accurate model built on high resolution $N$-body simulations. To interpret the measured redshift-space distortions, the distribution of galaxy velocities must differ from that of the dark matter inside haloes of $\sim 10^{13}$--$10^{14}h^{-1}{\rm M_{\odot}}$, i.e. the data require the existence of galaxy velocity bias. Most notably, central galaxies on average are not at rest with respect to the core of their host haloes (defined by the inner 25% of particles around the halo potential minimum), but rather move around it with a 1D velocity dispersion of $0.22^{+0.03}_{-0.04}$ times that of the dark matter, implying a spatial offset from the centre at the level of $\lesssim$1% of the halo virial radius. The luminous satellite galaxies move more slowly than the dark matter, with velocities $0.86^{+0.08}_{-0.03}$ times those of the dark matter, which suggests that the velocity and spatial distributions of these satellites cannot both be unbiased. The constraints mainly arise from the Fingers-of-God effect at nonlinear scales and the smoothing to the Kaiser effect in the translinear regime; the robustness of the results is demonstrated by a variety of tests. In addition, no clear evidence is found for a strong luminosity dependence of the velocity bias. We discuss the implications of the existence of galaxy velocity bias for investigations of galaxy formation and cosmology.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2014; 446(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu2120 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report new observations of circumgalactic gas from the COS-Dwarfs survey, a systematic investigation of the gaseous halos around 43 low-mass z $\leq$ 0.1 galaxies using background QSOs observed with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. From the projected 1D and 2D distribution of C IV absorption, we find that C IV absorption is detected out to ~ 0.5 R$_{vir}$ of the host galaxies. The C IV absorption strength falls off radially as a power law and beyond 0.5 R$_{vir}$, no C IV absorption is detected above our sensitivity limit of ~ 50-100 m$\AA$. We find a tentative correlation between detected C IV absorption strength and star formation, paralleling the strong correlation seen in highly ionized oxygen for L~L* galaxies by the COS-Halos survey. The data imply a large carbon reservoir in the CGM of these galaxies, corresponding to a minimum carbon mass of $\gtrsim$ 1.2$\times 10^6$ $M_\odot$ out to ~ 110 kpc. This mass is comparable to the carbon mass in the ISM and more than the carbon mass currently in stars of these galaxies. The C IV absorption seen around these sub-L* galaxies can account for almost two-thirds of all $W_r$> 100 m$\AA$ C IV absorption detected at low z. Comparing the C IV covering fraction with hydrodynamical simulations, we find that an energy-driven wind model is consistent with the observations whereas a wind model of constant velocity fails to reproduce the CGM or the galaxy properties.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2014; 796(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/796/2/136 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a one per cent measurement of the cosmic distance scale from the detections of the baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) in the clustering of galaxies from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, which is part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III. Our results come from the Data Release 11 (DR11) sample, containing nearly one million galaxies and covering approximately 8500 square degrees and the redshift range 0.2 < z < 0.7. We also compare these results with those from the publicly released DR9 and DR10 samples. Assuming a concordance Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) cosmological model, the DR11 sample covers a volume of 13 Gpc3 and is the largest region of the Universe ever surveyed at this density. We measure the correlation function and power spectrum, including density-field reconstruction of the BAO feature. The acoustic features are detected at a significance of over 7σ in both the correlation function and power spectrum. Fitting for the position of the acoustic features measures the distance relative to the sound horizon at the drag epoch, rd, which has a value of rd,fid = 149.28 Mpc in our fiducial cosmology. We find DV = (1264 ± 25 Mpc)(rd/rd,fid) at z = 0.32 and DV = (2056 ± 20 Mpc)(rd/rd,fid) at z = 0.57. At 1.0 per cent, this latter measure is the most precise distance constraint ever obtained from a galaxy survey. Separating the clustering along and transverse to the line of sight yields measurements at z = 0.57 of DA = (1421 ± 20 Mpc)(rd/rd,fid) and H = (96.8 ± 3.4 km s-1 Mpc-1)(rd,fid/rd). Our measurements of the distance scale are in good agreement with previous BAO measurements and with the predictions from cosmic microwave background data for a spatially flat CDM model with a cosmological constant.
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    ABSTRACT: The Ly$\alpha$ forest flux probability distribution function (PDF) is an established probe of the intergalactic medium (IGM) astrophysics, especially the temperature-density relationship of the IGM. We measure the flux PDF from 3393 Baryon Oscillations Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) quasars from SDSS Data Release 9, and compare with mock spectra that include careful modeling of the noise, continuum, and astrophysical uncertainties. The BOSS flux PDFs, measured at $\langle z \rangle = [2.3,2.6,3.0]$, are compared with PDFs created from mock spectra drawn from a suite of hydrodynamical simulations that sample the IGM temperature-density relationship, $\gamma$, and temperature at mean-density, $T_0$, where $T(\Delta) = T_0 \Delta^{\gamma-1}$. We find that a significant population of partial Lyman-limit systems with a column-density distribution slope of $\beta_\mathrm{pLLS} \sim -2$ are required to explain the data at the low-flux end of flux PDF, while uncertainties in the mean \lya\ forest transmission affect the high-flux end. After modelling the LLSs and marginalizing over mean-transmission uncertainties, we find that $\gamma=1.6$ best describes the data over our entire redshift range, although constraints on $T_0$ are affected by systematic uncertainties. Isothermal or inverted temperature-density relationships ($\gamma \leq 1$) are disfavored at a significance of over 4$\sigma$.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2014; 799(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/799/2/196 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III's Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) is a high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopic survey covering all of the major components of the Galaxy, including the dust-obscured regions of the inner Milky Way disk and bulge. Here we present a sample of 10,352 likely red-clump stars (RC) from the first two years of APOGEE operations, selected based on their position in color-metallicity-surface-gravity-effective-temperature space using a new method calibrated using stellar-evolution models and high-quality asteroseismology data. The narrowness of the RC locus in color-metallicity-luminosity space allows us to assign distances to the stars with an accuracy of 5 to 10%. The sample extends to typical distances of about 3 kpc from the Sun, with some stars out to 8 kpc, and spans a volume of approximately 100 kpc^3 over 5 kpc <~ R <~ 14 kpc, |Z| <~ 2 kpc, and -15 deg <~ Galactocentric azimuth <~ 30 deg. The APOGEE red-clump (APOGEE-RC) catalog contains photometry from 2MASS, reddening estimates, distances, line-of-sight velocities, stellar parameters and elemental abundances determined from the high-resolution APOGEE spectra, and matches to major proper motion catalogs. We determine the survey selection function for this data set and discuss how the RC selection samples the underlying stellar populations. We use this sample to limit any azimuthal variations in the median metallicity within the ~45 degree-wide azimuthal region covered by the current sample to be <= 0.02 dex, which is more than an order of magnitude smaller than the radial metallicity gradient. This result constrains coherent non-axisymmetric flows within a few kpc from the Sun.
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the statistics of the low-redshift Lyman-alpha forest from smoothed particle hydrodynamic simulations in light of recent improvements in the estimated evolution of the cosmic ultraviolet background (UVB) and recent observations from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). We find that the value of the metagalactic photoionization rate required by our simulations to match the observed properties of the low-redshift Lyman-alpha forest is a factor of 5 larger than the value predicted by state-of-the art models for the evolution of this quantity. This mismatch results in the mean flux decrement of the Lyman-alpha forest being underpredicted by at least a factor of 2 (a 10-sigma discrepancy with observations) and a column density distribution of Lyman-alpha forest absorbers systematically and significantly elevated compared to observations over nearly two decades in column density. We examine potential resolutions to this mismatch and find that either conventional sources of ionizing photons (galaxies and quasars) must be significantly elevated relative to current observational estimates or our theoretical understanding of the low-redshift universe is in need of substantial revision.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 04/2014; 789(2). DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/789/2/L32 · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a detection of the baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) feature in the flux-correlation function of the Ly{\alpha} forest of high-redshift quasars with a statistical significance of five standard deviations. The study uses 137,562 quasars in the redshift range $2.1\le z \le 3.5$ from the Data Release 11 (DR11) of the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) of SDSS-III. This sample contains three times the number of quasars used in previous studies. The measured position of the BAO peak determines the angular distance, $D_A(z=2.34)$ and expansion rate, $H(z=2.34)$, both on a scale set by the sound horizon at the drag epoch, $r_d$. We find $D_A/r_d=11.28\pm0.65(1\sigma)^{+2.8}_{-1.2}(2\sigma)$ and $D_H/r_d=9.18\pm0.28(1\sigma)\pm0.6(2\sigma)$ where $D_H=c/H$. The optimal combination, $\sim D_H^{0.7}D_A^{0.3}/r_d$ is determined with a precision of $\sim2\%$. For the value $r_d=147.4~{\rm Mpc}$, consistent with the CMB power spectrum measured by Planck, we find $D_A(z=2.34)=1662\pm96(1\sigma)~{\rm Mpc}$ and $H(z=2.34)=222\pm7(1\sigma)~{\rm km\,s^{-1}Mpc^{-1}}$. Tests with mock catalogs and variations of our analysis procedure have revealed no systematic uncertainties comparable to our statistical errors. Our results agree with the previously reported BAO measurement at the same redshift using the quasar-Ly{\alpha} forest cross-correlation. The auto-correlation and cross-correlation approaches are complementary because of the quite different impact of redshift-space distortion on the two measurements. The combined constraints from the two correlation functions imply values of $D_A/r_d$ and $D_H/r_d$ that are, respectively, 7% low and 7% high compared to the predictions of a flat $\Lambda$CDM cosmological model with the best-fit Planck parameters. With our estimated statistical errors, the significance of this discrepancy is $\approx 2.5\sigma$.
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the star formation histories (SFHs) of galaxies in smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations, compare them to parametric models that are commonly used in fitting observed galaxy spectral energy distributions, and examine the efficacy of these parametric models as practical tools for recovering the physical parameters of galaxies. The commonly used tau-model, with SFR ~ exp(-t/tau), provides a poor match to the SFH of our SPH galaxies, with a mismatch between early and late star formation that leads to systematic errors in predicting colours and stellar mass-to-light ratios. A one-parameter lin-exp model, with SFR ~ t*exp(-t/tau), is much more successful on average, but it fails to match the late-time behavior of the bluest, most actively star-forming galaxies and the passive, "red and dead" galaxies. We introduce a 4-parameter model, which transitions from lin-exp to a linear ramp after a transition time, which describes our simulated galaxies very well. We test the ability of these parametrised models to recover (at z=0, 0.5, and 1) the stellar mass-to-light ratios, specific star formation rates, and stellar population ages from the galaxy colours, computed from the full SPH star formation histories using the FSPS code of Conroy et al. (2009). Fits with tau-models systematically overestimate M/L by ~ 0.2 dex, overestimate population ages by ~ 1-2 Gyr, and underestimate sSFR by ~ 0.05 dex. Fits with lin-exp are less biased on average, but the 4-parameter model yields the best results for the full range of galaxies. Marginalizing over the free parameters of the 4-parameter model leads to slightly larger statistical errors than 1-parameter fits but essentially removes all systematic biases, so this is our recommended procedure for fitting real galaxies.
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    ABSTRACT: We analyze the physical conditions of the cool (T ~ 10^4 K) circumgalactic medium (CGM) using the COS-Halos suite of gas column density measurements taken along 38 quasar sightlines passing within 160 kpc of L ~ L* galaxies at z~0.2. These data are well described by simple photoionization models, with the gas highly ionized (n_HII/n_H > 99%) by the extragalactic ultraviolet background (EUVB). Scaling by estimates for the virial radius, R_vir, we show that the ionization state (tracked by the dimensionless ionization parameter, U) increases with distance from the host galaxy. This correlation has a power-law form of U = (0.006 +/- 0.003)(R/R_vir)^(0.8 +/- 0.3), with significant scatter. The ionization parameters imply a decreasing volume density profile n_ H = 10^(-4.2 +/- 0.25) (R/R_vir)^(-0.8 +/-0.3). Our derived gas volume densities are several orders of magnitude lower than predictions from standard two-phase models with a cool medium in pressure equilibrium with a hot, diffuse medium. Applying the ionization corrections to the HI column densities, we estimate a lower limit to the cool gas mass M_ CGMcool > 6.5 x 10^10 M_sun for the volume within R < R_vir. Allowing for an additional warm, OVI-traced phase, the CGM accounts for *at least* half of the baryons purported to be missing from galaxy dark matter halos.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2014; 792(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/792/1/8 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We analyze the dynamical evolution of stellar age cohorts, groups of stars with similar formation times, to determine the detailed structure formation history of the cosmological simulation of the formation of a disk galaxy similar to the Milky Way (the “Eris” simulation). There is a remarkably smooth correlation between structure and stellar age at z = 0, going from spheroidal distributions for the oldest stars to long, thin disks for the youngest populations. We find the velocity dispersion of a cohort increases monotonically with age. The smooth relationships between stellar age, structure, and dynamics seen at z = 0, which agree nicely with the observed properties of mono-abundance populations in the Milky Way, are largely established by the disk formation process. Stars continuously form as the initially spheroidal gas reservoir cools and contracts, increasing its rotational support and becomingly progressively longer and vertically thinner. Thus, the stellar disk forms “inside-out” radially and “upside-down” vertically.

Publication Stats

26k Citations
1,398.33 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1970–2015
    • The Ohio State University
      • • Department of Astronomy
      • • Center for Cosmology and Astoparticle Physics
      Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 2010–2013
    • Pennsylvania State University
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      University Park, Maryland, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Utah
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
    • University of Virginia
      • Department of Astronomy
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
  • 2011–2012
    • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
      • Physics Division
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2007
    • Institut d'astrophysique de Paris
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
    • The University of Edinburgh
      • Institute for Astronomy (IfA)
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2002
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Chicago, IL, United States
  • 1998–2002
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
      • Department of Astronomy
      Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States
    • Harvard University
      • Department of Astronomy
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2001
    • California Institute of Technology
      • Department of Astronomy
      Pasadena, California, United States
  • 1990–2000
    • Princeton University
      • Department of Astrophysical Sciences
      Princeton, New Jersey, United States
  • 1997
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 1995
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Astronomy
      Seattle, Washington, United States
    • Durham University
      • Department of Physics
      Durham, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1994
    • Institute for Advanced Study
      Princeton Junction, New Jersey, United States
  • 1989–1993
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1992
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Astronomy
      Berkeley, CA, United States
  • 1991
    • University of Groningen
      Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands