Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The effects of photoionization on galaxy formation - I. Model and results at z=0

Benson, A.J.; Lacey, C.G.; Baugh, C.M.; Cole, S.; Frenk, C.S.

The effects of photoionization on galaxy formation - I. Model and results at z=0 Thumbnail


A.J. Benson


We develop a coupled model for the evolution of the global properties of the intergalactic medium (IGM) and the formation of galaxies, in the presence of a photoionizing background due to stars and quasars. We use this model to predict the thermodynamic history of the IGM when photoionized by galaxies forming in a cold dark matter (CDM) universe. The evolution of the galaxies is calculated using a semi-analytical model, including a detailed treatment of the effects of tidal stripping and dynamical friction on satellite galaxies orbiting inside larger dark matter haloes. We include in the model the negative feedback on galaxy formation from the photoionizing background. Photoionization inhibits galaxy formation in low-mass dark matter haloes in two ways: (i) heating of the IGM and inhibition of the collapse of gas into dark haloes by the IGM pressure, and (ii) reduction in the rate of radiative cooling of gas within haloes. The result of our method is a self-consistent model of galaxy formation and the IGM. The IGM is reheated twice (during reionization of H I and He II), and we find that the star formation rate per unit volume is slightly suppressed after each episode of reheating. We find that galaxies brighter than L★ are mostly unaffected by reionization, while the abundance of faint galaxies is significantly reduced, leading to present-day galaxy luminosity functions with shallow faint-end slopes, in good agreement with recent observational data. Reionization also affects other properties of these faint galaxies, in a readily understandable way.


Benson, A., Lacey, C., Baugh, C., Cole, S., & Frenk, C. (2002). The effects of photoionization on galaxy formation - I. Model and results at z=0. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 333(1), 156-176.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 11, 2002
Deposit Date Feb 20, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 24, 2015
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 333
Issue 1
Pages 156-176
Keywords Galaxies: formation, Intergalactic medium, Cosmology: theory.


Published Journal Article (588 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2002 RAS. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations