Martin G. Haehnelt

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (164)580.16 Total impact

  • Luke A. Barnes · Martin G. Haehnelt

    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Michael Rauch · George D. Becker · Martin G. Haehnelt
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the origin of extragalactic continuum emission and its relation to the stellar population of a recently discovered peculiar z=3.344 Lyman alpha emitter. Based on an analysis of the broad-band colors and morphology we find further support for the idea that the underlying galaxy is being fed by a large-scale (L > 35 kpc) accretion stream. Archival HST images show small scale (~5 kpc) tentacular filaments converging near a hot-spot of star-formation, possibly fueled by gas falling in along the filaments. The spectral energy distribution of the tentacles is broadly compatible with either (1) non-ionizing rest-frame far-UV continuum emission from stars formed in an 60 million-year-old starburst; (2) nebular 2-photon-continuum radiation, arising from collisional excitation cooling, or (3) a recombination spectrum emitted by hydrogen fluorescing in response to ionizing radiation escaping from the galaxy. The latter possibility simultaneously accounts for the presence of asymmetric Lyman alpha emission from the large-scale gaseous filament and the nebular continuum in the smaller-scale tentacles as caused by the escape of ionizing radiation from the galaxy. Possible astrophysical explanations for the nature of the tentacles include: a galactic wind powered by the starburst; in-falling gas during cold accretion, or tails of interstellar medium dragged out of the galaxy by satellite halos that have plunged through the main halo. The possibility of detecting extragalactic 2-photon continuum emission in space-based, broad-band images suggests a tool for studying the gaseous environment of high redshift galaxies at much greater spatial detail than possible with Lyman alpha or other resonance line emission.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present a hybrid code combining the OpenMP-parallel tree code vine with an algorithmic chain regularization scheme. The new code, called ‘rvine’, aims to significantly improve the accuracy of close encounters of massive bodies with supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in galaxy-scale numerical simulations. We demonstrate the capabilities of the code by studying two test problems, the sinking of a single massive black hole to the centre of a gas-free galaxy due to dynamical friction and the hardening of an SMBH binary due to close stellar encounters. We show that results obtained with rvine compare well with nbody7 for problems with particle numbers that can be simulated with nbody7. In particular, in both nbody7 and rvine we find a clear N-dependence of the binary hardening rate, a low binary eccentricity and moderate eccentricity evolution, as well as the conversion of the galaxy's inner density profile from a cusp to a core via the ejection of stars at high velocity. The much larger number of particles that can be handled by rvine will open up exciting opportunities to model stellar dynamics close to SMBHs much more accurately in a realistic galactic context. This will help to remedy the inherent limitations of commonly used tree solvers to follow the correct dynamical evolution of black holes in galaxy-scale simulations.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: QSO near zones are an important probe of the ionization state of the intergalactic medium (IGM) at z ∼ 6–7, at the end of reionization. We present here high-resolution cosmological 3D radiative transfer simulations of QSO environments for a wide range of host halo masses, 1010–12.5 M⊙. Our simulated near zones reproduce both the overall decrease of observed near-zone sizes at 6 < z < 7 and their scatter. The observable near-zone properties in our simulations depend only very weakly on the mass of the host halo. The size of the H ii region expanding into the IGM is generally limited by (super-)Lyman Limit systems loosely associated with (low-mass) dark matter haloes. This leads to a strong dependence of near-zone size on direction and drives the large observed scatter. In the simulation centred on our most massive host halo, many sightlines show strong red damping wings even for initial volume averaged neutral hydrogen fractions as low as ∼10−3. For QSO lifetimes long enough to allow growth of the central supermassive black hole while optically bright, we can reproduce the observed near zone of ULAS J1120+0641 only with an IGM that is initially neutral. Our results suggest that larger samples of z > 7 QSOs will provide important constraints on the evolution of the neutral hydrogen fraction and thus on how late reionization ends.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Jonathan Chardin · Martin G. Haehnelt · Dominique Aubert · Ewald Puchwein
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    ABSTRACT: We calibrate here cosmological radiative transfer simulations with aton/ramses with a range of measurements of the Ly α opacity from Quasi-Stellar Objects (QSO) absorption spectra. We find the Ly α opacity to be very sensitive to the exact timing of hydrogen reionization. Models reproducing the measured evolution of the mean photoionization rate and average mean free path reach overlap at z ∼ 7 and predict an accelerated evolution of the Ly α opacity at z > 6 consistent with the rapidly evolving luminosity function of Ly α emitters in this redshift range. Similar to ‘optically thin’ simulations our full radiative transfer simulations fail, however, to reproduce the high-opacity tail of the Ly α opacity PDF (probability distribution function) at z > 5. We argue that this is due to spatial UV fluctuations in the post-overlap phase of reionization on substantially larger scales than predicted by our source model, where the ionizing emissivity is dominated by large numbers of sub-L* galaxies. We further argue that this suggests a significant contribution to the ionizing UV background by much rarer bright sources at high redshift.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    Harley Katz · Debora Sijacki · Martin G. Haehnelt
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    ABSTRACT: We study how runaway stellar collisions in high-redshift, metal-poor star clusters form very massive stars (VMSs) that can directly collapse to intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs). We follow the evolution of a pair of neighbouring high-redshift mini-haloes with high-resolution, cosmological hydrodynamical zoom-in simulations using the adaptive mesh refinement code ramses combined with the non-equilibrium chemistry package krome. The first collapsing mini-halo is assumed to enrich the central nuclear star cluster (NSC) of the other to a critical metallicity, sufficient for Population II (Pop. II) star formation at redshift z ≈ 27. Using the spatial configuration of the flattened, asymmetrical gas cloud forming in the core of the metal-enriched halo, we set the initial conditions for simulations of an initially non-spherical star cluster with the direct summation code nbody6 which are compared to about 2000 nbody6 simulations of spherical star clusters for a wide range of star cluster parameters. The final mass of the VMS that forms depends strongly on the initial mass and initial central density of the NSC. For the initial central densities suggested by our ramses simulations, VMSs with mass >400 M⊙ can form in clusters with stellar masses of ≈104 M⊙, and this can increase to well over 1000 M⊙ for more massive and denser clusters. The high probability we find for forming a VMS in these mini-haloes at such an early cosmic time makes collisional runaway of Pop. II star clusters a promising channel for producing large numbers of high-redshift IMBHs that may act as the seeds of supermassive black holes.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We combine high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations with an intermediate resolution, dark matter only simulation and an analytical model for the growth of ionized regions to estimate the large-scale distribution and redshift evolution of the visibility of Lyα emission in 6 ≤ z ≤ 8 galaxies. The inhomogeneous distribution of neutral hydrogen during the reionization process results in significant fluctuations in the Lyα transmissivity on large scales. The transmissivity depends not only on the ionized fraction of the intergalactic medium by volume and the amplitude of the local ionizing background, but is also rather sensitive to the evolution of the relative velocity shift of the Lyα emission line due to resonant scattering. We reproduce a decline in the space density of Lyα emitting galaxies as rapid as observed with a rather rapidly evolving neutral fraction between z = 6–8, and a typical Lyα line velocity offset of 100 km s− 1 redward of systemic at z = 6 which decreases towards higher redshift. The new (02/2015) Planck results indicate such a recent end to reionization is no longer disfavoured by constraints from the cosmic microwave background.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    Tiago Costa · Debora Sijacki · Martin G. Haehnelt
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    ABSTRACT: Observations of the emission from spatially extended cold gas around bright high-redshift quasars (QSOs) reveal surprisingly large velocity widths exceeding 2000 km s− 1, out to projected distances as large as 30 kpc. The high-velocity widths have been interpreted as the signature of powerful AGN-driven outflows. Naively, these findings appear in tension with hydrodynamic models in which AGN-driven outflows are energy-driven and thus very hot with typical temperatures T ≳ 106-7 K. Using the moving-mesh code arepo, we perform ‘zoom-in’ cosmological simulations of a z ∼ 6 QSO and its environment, following black hole growth and feedback via energy-driven outflows. In the simulations, the QSO host galaxy is surrounded by a clumpy circumgalactic medium pre-enriched with metals due to supernovae-driven galactic outflows. As a result, part of the AGN-driven hot outflowing gas can cool radiatively, leading to large amounts ( ≳ 109 M⊙) of cold gas comoving with the hot bipolar outflow. This results in velocity widths of spatially extended cold gas similar to those observed. We caution, however, that gas inflows, random motions in the deep potential well of the QSO host galaxy and cooling of supernovae-driven winds contribute significantly to the large velocity width of the cold gas in the simulations, complicating the interpretation of observational data.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters
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    ABSTRACT: We compare cosmological hydrodynamical simulations combined with the homogeneous metagalactic UV background (UVB) of Haardt & Madau (2012) (HM2012) to observations of the Lyman-alpha 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 HeIII. 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 HeII opacities suggested by recent Hubble Space Telescope/COS 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.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the kinematic structure of damped Lyman α systems (DLAs) in a series of cosmological hydrodynamic simulations using the arepo code. We are able to match the distribution of velocity widths of associated low-ionization metal absorbers substantially better than earlier work. Our simulations produce a population of DLAs dominated by haloes with virial velocities around 70 km s−1, consistent with a picture of relatively small, faint objects. In addition, we reproduce the observed correlation between velocity width and metallicity and the equivalent width distribution of Si ii. Some discrepancies of moderate statistical significance remain; too many of our spectra show absorption concentrated at the edge of the profile and there are slight differences in the exact shape of the velocity width distribution. We show that the improvement over previous work is mostly due to our strong feedback from star formation and our detailed modelling of the metal ionization state.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: The current instrumentation plan for the E-ELT foresees a High Resolution Spectrograph conventionally indicated as HIRES. Shaped on the study of extra-solar planet atmospheres, Pop-III stars and fundamental physical constants, HIRES is intended to embed observing modes at high-resolution (up to R=150000) and large spectral range (from the blue limit to the K band) useful for a large suite of science cases that can exclusively be tackled by the E-ELT. We present in this paper the solution for HIRES envisaged by the "HIRES initiative", the international collaboration established in 2013 to pursue a HIRES on E-ELT.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Jun 2014
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    Tiago Costa · Debora Sijacki · Martin G. Haehnelt
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    ABSTRACT: We employ hydrodynamical simulations using the moving-mesh code arepo to investigate the role of energy and momentum input from active galactic nuclei (AGN) in driving large-scale galactic outflows. We start by reproducing analytic solutions for both energy- and momentum-driven outflowing shells in simulations of a spherical isolated dark matter potential with gas in hydrostatic equilibrium and with no radiative cooling. We confirm that for this simplified setup, galactic outflows driven by a momentum input rate of order LEdd/c can establish an MBH–σ relation with slope and normalization similar to that observed. We show that momentum input at a rate of LEdd/c is however insufficient to drive efficient outflows once cooling and gas inflows as predicted by cosmological simulations at resolved scales are taken into account. We argue that observed large-scale AGN-driven outflows are instead likely to be energy-driven and show that such outflows can reach momentum fluxes exceeding 10LEdd/c within the innermost 10 kpc of the galaxy. The outflows are highly anisotropic, with outflow rates and a velocity structure found to be inadequately described by spherical outflow models. We verify that the hot energy-driven outflowing gas is expected to be strongly affected by metal-line cooling, leading to significant amounts ( ≳ 109 M⊙) of entrained cold gas.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the abundance, clustering and metallicity of Damped Lyman α Absorbers (DLAs) in a suite of hydrodynamic cosmological simulations using the moving mesh code arepo. We incorporate models of supernova and AGN feedback, as well as molecular hydrogen formation. We compare our simulations to the column density distribution function at z = 3, the total DLA abundance at z = 2–4, the measured DLA bias at z = 2.3 and the DLA metallicity distribution at z = 2–4. Our preferred models produce populations of DLAs in good agreement with most of these observations. The exception is the DLA abundance at z < 3, which we show requires stronger feedback in 1011–12 h−1 M⊙ mass haloes. While the DLA population probes a wide range of halo masses, we find the cross-section is dominated by haloes of mass 1010–1011 h−1 M⊙ and virial velocities 50–100 km s−1. The simulated DLA population has a linear theory bias of 1.7, whereas the observations require 2.17 ± 0.2. We show, however, that non-linear growth increases the bias in our simulations to 2.3 at k = 1 h Mpc−1, the smallest scale observed. The scale-dependence of the bias is, however, very different in the simulations compared against the observations. We show that, of the observations we consider, the DLA abundance and column density function provide the strongest constraints on the feedback model.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    Luke A. Barnes · Martin G. Haehnelt
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss the recent BOSS measurement of a rather high bias factor for the host galaxies/haloes of Damped Lyman-alpha Absorbers (DLAs), in the context of our previous modelling of the physical properties of DLAs within the {\Lambda}CDM paradigm. Joint modelling of the column density distribution, the velocity width distribution of associated low ionization metal absorption, and the bias parameter suggests that DLAs are hosted by galaxies with dark matter halo masses in the range 10.5 < log Mv < 13, with a rather sharp cutoff at the lower mass end, corresponding to viral velocities of ~90 km/s. The observed properties of DLAs appear to suggest very efficient (stellar) feedback in haloes with masses/virial velocities below the cutoff and a large retained baryon fraction (> 35%) in haloes above the cutoff.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    John A. Regan · Peter H. Johansson · Martin G. Haehnelt
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    ABSTRACT: We have performed high-resolution numerical simulations with the hydrodynamical adaptive mesh refinement code enzo to investigate the formation of massive seed black holes in a sample of six dark matter haloes above the atomic cooling threshold. The aim of this study is to illustrate the effects of varying the maximum refinement level on the final object formed. The virial temperatures of the simulated haloes range from T ∼ 10 000 to ∼16 000 K and they have virial masses in the range M ∼ 2 × 107 to ∼7 × 107 M⊙ at z ∼ 15. The outcome of our six fiducial simulations is both generic and robust. A rotationally supported, marginally gravitationally stable, disc forms with an exponential profile. The mass and scale length of this disc depends strongly on the maximum refinement level used. Varying the maximum refinement level by factors between 1/64 and 256 times the fiducial level illustrates the care that must be taken in interpreting the results. The lower resolution simulations show tentative evidence that the gas may become rotationally supported out to 20 pc while the highest resolution simulations show only weak evidence of rotational support due to the shorter dynamical times for which the simulation runs. The higher resolution simulations do, however, point to fragmentation at small scales of the order of ∼100 au. In the highest resolution simulations a central object of a few times 102 M⊙ forms with multiple strongly bound, Jeans unstable, clumps of ≈10 M⊙ and radii of 10–20 au suggesting the formation of dense star clusters in these haloes.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    Laura C. Keating · Martin G. Haehnelt · George D. Becker · James S. Bolton
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    ABSTRACT: Low-ionization metal absorption due to O i has been identified as an important probe of the physical state of the intergalactic/circumgalactic medium at the tail end of reionization. We use here high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations to interpret the incidence rate of O i absorbers at z ∼ 6 as observed by Becker et al. We infer weak O i absorbers (EW ≳ 0.1 Å) to have typical H i column densities in the range of sub-damped Lyman α systems, densities of 80 times the mean baryonic density and metallicities of about 1/500th solar. This is similar to the metallicity inferred at similar overdensities at z ∼ 3, suggesting that the metal enrichment of the circumgalactic medium around low-mass galaxies has already progressed considerably by z ∼ 6. The apparently rapid evolution of the incidence rates for O i absorption over the redshift range 5 ≲ z ≲ 6 mirrors that of self-shielded Lyman-limit systems at lower redshift and is mainly due to the rapid decrease of the metagalactic photoionization rate at z ≳ 5. We predict the incidence rate of O i absorbers to continue to rise rapidly with increasing redshift as the IGM becomes more neutral. If the distribution of metals extends to lower density regions, O i absorbers will allow the metal enrichment of the increasingly neutral filamentary structures of the cosmic web to be probed.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Building on the experience of the high-resolution community with the suite of VLT high-resolution spectrographs, which has been tremendously successful, we outline here the (science) case for a high-fidelity, high-resolution spectrograph with wide wavelength coverage at the E-ELT. Flagship science drivers include: the study of exo-planetary atmospheres with the prospect of the detection of signatures of life on rocky planets; the chemical composition of planetary debris on the surface of white dwarfs; the spectroscopic study of protoplanetary and proto-stellar disks; the extension of Galactic archaeology to the Local Group and beyond; spectroscopic studies of the evolution of galaxies with samples that, unlike now, are no longer restricted to strongly star forming and/or very massive galaxies; the unraveling of the complex roles of stellar and AGN feedback; the study of the chemical signatures imprinted by population III stars on the IGM during the epoch of reionization; the exciting possibility of paradigm-changing contributions to fundamental physics. The requirements of these science cases can be met by a stable instrument with a spectral resolution of R~100,000 and broad, simultaneous spectral coverage extending from 370nm to 2500nm. Most science cases do not require spatially resolved information, and can be pursued in seeing-limited mode, although some of them would benefit by the E-ELT diffraction limited resolution. Some multiplexing would also be beneficial for some of the science cases. (Abridged)
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013
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    James S. Bolton · George D. Becker · Martin G. Haehnelt · Matteo Viel
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    ABSTRACT: We present new measurements of the thermal state of the intergalactic medium (IGM) at z ∼ 2.4 derived from absorption line profiles in the Lyα forest. We use a large set of high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations to calibrate the relationship between the temperature–density (T–Δ) relation in the IGM and the distribution of H i column densities, NH I, and velocity widths, NH I, of discrete Lyα forest absorbers. This calibration is then applied to the measurement of the lower cut-off of the NH I–NH I distribution recently presented by Rudie et al. We infer a power-law T–Δ relation, T = T0Δγ − 1, with a temperature at mean density, $T_{0} = [1.00^{+0.32}_{-0.21}]\times 10^{4}\rm \,K$ and slope (γ − 1) = 0.54 ± 0.11. The slope is fully consistent with that advocated by the analysis of Rudie et al.; however, the temperature at mean density is lower by almost a factor of 2, primarily due to an adjustment in the relationship between column density and physical density assumed by these authors. These new results are in excellent agreement with the recent temperature measurements of Becker et al., based on the curvature of the transmitted flux in the Lyα forest. This suggests that the thermal state of the IGM at this redshift is reasonably well characterized over the range of densities probed by these methods.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    Tiago Costa · Debora Sijacki · Michele Trenti · Martin G. Haehnelt
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    ABSTRACT: We employ cosmological hydrodynamical simulations to investigate models in which the supermassive black holes (BHs) powering luminous z ~ 6 QSOs grow from massive seeds. We simulate at high resolution 18 fields sampling regions with densities ranging from the mean cosmic density all the way to the highest sigma peaks in the Millennium simulation volume. Only in the most massive halos, BHs can grow to masses up to ~ 10^9 Msun by z ~ 6 without invoking super-Eddington accretion. Accretion onto the most massive BHs becomes limited by thermal AGN feedback by z ~ 9-8 with further BH growth proceeding in short Eddington limited bursts. Our modelling suggests that current flux-limited surveys of QSOs at high redshift preferentially detect objects at their peak luminosity and therefore miss a substantial population of QSOs powered by similarly massive BHs but with low accretion rates. To test whether the required host halo masses are consistent with the observed galaxy environment of z ~ 6 QSOs, we produce realistic rest-frame UV images of our simulated galaxies. Without strong stellar feedback, our simulations predict numbers of bright galaxies larger than observed by a factor ten or more. Supernova-driven galactic winds reduce the predicted numbers to a level consistent with observations indicating that stellar feedback was already very efficient at high redshifts. We have further investigated the effect of thermal AGN feedback on the surrounding gas. Our adopted AGN feedback prescription drives mostly energy-driven highly anisotropic outflows with gas speeds of >= 1000 km/s to distances of >= 10 kpc consistent with observations. The spatially extended thermal X-ray emission around bright QSOs powered by these outflows can exceed by large factors the emission expected without AGN feedback and is an important diagnostic of the mechanism whereby AGN feedback energy couples to surrounding gas.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    Matteo Viel · George D. Becker · James S. Bolton · Martin G. Haehnelt
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    ABSTRACT: We present updated constraints on the free-streaming of warm dark matter (WDM) particles derived from an analysis of the Lya flux power spectrum measured from high-resolution spectra of 25 z > 4 quasars obtained with the Keck High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) and the Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle (MIKE) spectrograph. We utilize a new suite of high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations that explore WDM masses of 1, 2 and 4 keV (assuming the WDM consists of thermal relics), along with different physically motivated thermal histories. We carefully address different sources of systematic error that may affect our final results and perform an analysis of the Lya flux power with conservative error estimates. By using a method that samples the multi-dimensional astrophysical and cosmological parameter space, we obtain a lower limit mwdm > 3.3 keV (2sigma) for warm dark matter particles in the form of early decoupled thermal relics. Adding the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Lya flux power spectrum does not improve this limit. Thermal relics of masses 1 keV, 2 keV and 2.5 keV are disfavoured by the data at about the 9sigma, 4sigma and 3sigma C.L., respectively. Our analysis disfavours WDM models where there is a suppression in the linear matter power spectrum at (non-linear) scales corresponding to k=10h/Mpc which deviates more than 10% from a LCDM model. Given this limit, the corresponding "free-streaming mass" below which the mass function may be suppressed is 2x10^8 Msun/h. There is thus very little room for a contribution of the free-streaming of WDM to the solution of what has been termed the small scale crisis of cold dark matter.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Physical review D: Particles and fields

Publication Stats

7k Citations
580.16 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1993-2015
    • University of Cambridge
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2004-2006
    • Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2002-2006
    • Imperial College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2005
    • Cambridge Healthtech Institute
      Needham, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1995-2002
    • Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1999
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
      Urbana, Illinois, United States
  • 1998
    • Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
      • Department of Physics
      H̱efa, Haifa, Israel