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Simulations of galaxy formation in a cosmological volume

Pearce, F.R.; Jenkins, A.R.; Frenk, C.S.; White, S.D.M.; Thomas, P.A.; Couchman, H.M.P.; Peacock, J.A.; Efstathiou, G.

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F.R. Pearce

S.D.M. White

P.A. Thomas

H.M.P. Couchman

J.A. Peacock

G. Efstathiou


We present results of large N-body–hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy formation. Our simulations follow the formation of galaxies in cubic volumes of side 100 Mpc, in two versions of the cold dark matter (CDM) cosmogony: the standard, Ω=1 SCDM model and the flat, Ω=0.3ΛCDM model. Over 2000 galaxies form in each of these simulations. We examine the rate at which gas cools and condenses into dark matter haloes. This roughly tracks the cosmic star formation rate inferred from observations at various redshifts. Galaxies in the simulations form gradually over time in the hierarchical fashion characteristic of the CDM cosmogony. In the ΛCDM model, substantial galaxies first appear at z5 and the population builds up rapidly until z=1 after which the rate of galaxy formation declines as cold gas is consumed and the cooling time of hot gas increases. In the SCDM simulation, the evolution is qualitatively similar, but is shifted towards lower redshift. In both cosmologies, the present-day K-band luminosity function of the simulated galaxies resembles the observations. The galaxy autocorrelation functions differ significantly from those of the dark matter. At the present epoch there is little bias in either model between galaxies and dark matter on large scales, but a significant anti-bias on scales of 1 h1 Mpc and a positive bias on scales of 100 h1 kpc is seen. The galaxy correlation function evolves little with redshift in the range z=0–3, and depends on the luminosity of the galaxy sample. The projected pairwise velocity dispersion of the galaxies is much lower than that of the dark matter on scales less than 2 h1 Mpc. Applying a virial mass estimator to the largest galaxy clusters recovers the cluster virial masses in an unbiased way. Although our simulations are affected by numerical limitations, they illustrate the power of this approach for studying the formation of the galaxy population.


Pearce, F., Jenkins, A., Frenk, C., White, S., Thomas, P., Couchman, H., …Efstathiou, G. (2001). Simulations of galaxy formation in a cosmological volume. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 326(2), 649-666.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2001-09
Deposit Date Nov 22, 2006
Publicly Available Date Aug 11, 2014
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 326
Issue 2
Pages 649-666
Keywords Hydrodynamics, Galaxies, Formation, Kinematics, Dynamics, Cosmology.


Published Journal Article (1.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2001 The Authors Published on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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