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The evolution of the UV-to-mm extragalactic background light: evidence for a top-heavy initial mass function?

Cowley, William I.; Lacey, Cedric G.; Baugh, Carlton M.; Cole, Shaun; Frenk, Carlos S.; Lagos, Claudia del P.

The evolution of the UV-to-mm extragalactic background light: evidence for a top-heavy initial mass function? Thumbnail


Authors

William I. Cowley

Claudia del P. Lagos



Abstract

We present predictions for the UV-to-mm extragalactic background light (EBL) from a recent version of the GALFORM semi-analytical model of galaxy formation which invokes a top-heavy stellar initial mass function (IMF) for galaxies undergoing dynamically-triggered bursts of star formation. We combine GALFORM with the GRASIL radiative transfer code for computing fully self-consistent UV-to-mm spectral energy distributions for each simulated galaxy, accounting for the absorption and re-emission of stellar radiation by interstellar dust. The predicted EBL is in near-perfect agreement with recent observations over the whole UV-to-mm spectrum, as is the evolution of the cosmic spectral energy distribution over the redshift range for which observations are available (z ≲ 1). We show that approximately 90 per cent of the EBL is produced at z < 2 although this shifts to higher redshifts for sub-mm wavelengths. We assess whether the top-heavy IMF in starbursts is necessary in order to reproduce the EBL at the same time as other key observables, and find that variant models with a universal solar-neighborhood IMF display poorer agreement with EBL observations over the whole UV-to-mm spectrum and fail to match the counts of galaxies in the sub-mm.

Citation

Cowley, W. I., Lacey, C. G., Baugh, C. M., Cole, S., Frenk, C. S., & Lagos, C. D. P. (2019). The evolution of the UV-to-mm extragalactic background light: evidence for a top-heavy initial mass function?. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 487(3), 3082-3101. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stz1398

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 14, 2019
Online Publication Date Jun 13, 2019
Publication Date Aug 31, 2019
Deposit Date Jun 4, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 14, 2019
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 487
Issue 3
Pages 3082-3101
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stz1398

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Copyright Statement
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.





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