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Title: Introducing the thesan project: radiation-magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the epoch of reionization

We introduce the thesan project, a suite of large volume ($L_\mathrm{box} = 95.5 \, \mathrm{cMpc}$) radiation-magnetohydrodynamic simulations that simultaneously model the large-scale statistical properties of the intergalactic medium during reionization and the resolved characteristics of the galaxies responsible for it. The flagship simulation has dark matter and baryonic mass resolutions of $3.1 \times 10^6\, {\rm M_\odot }$ and $5.8 \times 10^5\, {\rm M_\odot }$, respectively. The gravitational forces are softened on scales of 2.2 ckpc with the smallest cell sizes reaching 10 pc at z = 5.5, enabling predictions down to the atomic cooling limit. The simulations use an efficient radiation hydrodynamics solver (arepo-rt) that precisely captures the interaction between ionizing photons and gas, coupled to well-tested galaxy formation (IllustrisTNG) and dust models to accurately predict the properties of galaxies. Through a complementary set of medium resolution simulations we investigate the changes to reionization introduced by different assumptions for ionizing escape fractions, varying dark matter models, and numerical convergence. The fiducial simulation and model variations are calibrated to produce realistic reionization histories that match the observed evolution of the global neutral hydrogen fraction and electron scattering optical depth to reionization. They also match a wealth of high-redshift observationally inferred data, including the stellar-to-halo-mass relation, galaxy stellar mass function, star formation rate density, and the mass–metallicity relation, despite the galaxy formation model being mainly calibrated at z = 0. We demonstrate that different reionization models give rise to varied bubble size distributions that imprint unique signatures on the 21 cm emission, especially on the slope of the power spectrum at large spatial scales, enabling current and upcoming 21 cm experiments to accurately characterize the sources that dominate the ionizing photon budget.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 4005-4030
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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