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    Modelling galaxy formation in hydrodynamic simulations has increasingly adopted various radiative transfer methods to account for photoionization feedback from young massive stars. However, the evolution of H ii regions around stars begins in dense star-forming clouds and spans large dynamical ranges in both space and time, posing severe challenges for numerical simulations in terms of both spatial and temporal resolution that depends strongly on gas density (∝n−1). In this work, we perform a series of idealized H ii region simulations using the moving-mesh radiation-hydrodynamic code arepo-rt to study the effects of numerical resolution. The simulated results match the analytical solutions and the ionization feedback converges only if the Strömgren sphere is resolved by at least 10–100 resolution elements and the size of each time integration step is smaller than 0.1 times the recombination time-scale. Insufficient spatial resolution leads to reduced ionization fraction but enhanced ionized gas mass and momentum feedback from the H ii regions, as well as degrading the multiphase interstellar medium into a diffuse, partially ionized, warm (∼8000 K) gas. On the other hand, insufficient temporal resolution strongly suppresses the effects of ionizing feedback. This is because longer time-steps are not able to resolve the rapid variation of the thermochemistry properties of the gas cells around massive stars, especially when the photon injection and thermochemistry are performed with different cadences. Finally, we provide novel numerical implementations to overcome the above issues when strict resolution requirements are not achievable in practice.

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  2. Abstract

    The circumgalactic medium (CGM) plays a pivotal role in regulating gas flows around galaxies and thus shapes their evolution. However, the details of how galaxies and their CGM coevolve remain poorly understood. We present a new time-dependent two-zone model that self-consistently tracks not just mass and metal flows between galaxies and their CGM but also the evolution of the global thermal and turbulent kinetic energy of the CGM. Our model accounts for heating and turbulence driven by both supernova winds and cosmic accretion as well as radiative cooling, turbulence dissipation, and halo outflows due to CGM overpressurization. We demonstrate that, depending on parameters, the CGM can undergo a phase transition (“thermalization”) from a cool, turbulence-supported phase to a virial-temperature, thermally supported phase. This CGM phase transition is largely determined by the ability of radiative cooling to balance heating from supernova winds and turbulence dissipation. We perform an initial calibration of our model to the FIRE-2 cosmological hydrodynamical simulations and show that it can approximately reproduce the baryon cycles of the simulated halos. In particular, we find that, for these parameters, the phase transition occurs at high redshift in ultrafaint progenitors and at low redshift in classicalMvir∼ 1011Mdwarfs, while Milky Way–mass halos undergo the transition atz≈ 0.5. We see a similar transition in the simulations though it is more gradual, likely reflecting radial dependence and multiphase gas not captured by our model. We discuss these and other limitations of the model and possible future extensions.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Turbulent radiative mixing layers (TRMLs) form at the interface of cold, dense gas and hot, diffuse gas in motion with each other. TRMLs are ubiquitous in and around galaxies on a variety of scales, including galactic winds and the circumgalactic medium. They host the intermediate-temperature gases that are efficient in radiative cooling, thus playing a crucial role in controlling the cold gas supply, phase structure, and spectral features of galaxies. In this work, we develop an intuitive analytic 1.5-dimensional model for TRMLs that includes a simple parameterization of the effective turbulent conductivity and viscosity and a piecewise power-law cooling curve. Our analytic model reproduces the mass flux, total cooling, and phase structure of 3D simulations of TRMLs at a fraction of the computational cost. It also reveals essential insights into the physics of TRMLs, particularly the importance of the viscous dissipation of relative kinetic energy in balancing radiative cooling as the shear Mach number approaches unity. This dissipation takes place both in the intermediate-temperature phase, which reduces the enthalpy flux from the hot phase, and in the cold phase, which enhances radiative cooling. Additionally, our model provides a fast and easy way of computing the column density and surface brightness of TRMLs, which can be directly linked to observations.

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  4. Abstract

    We explore the role of galactic feedback on the low-redshift Lyα(Lyα) forest (z≲ 2) statistics and its potential to alter the thermal state of the intergalactic medium. Using the Cosmology and Astrophysics with Machine Learning Simulations (CAMELS) suite, we explore variations of the AGN and stellar feedback models in the IllustrisTNG and Simba subgrid models. We find that both AGN and stellar feedback in Simba play a role in setting the Lyαforest column density distribution function (CDD) and the Doppler width (b-value) distribution. The Simba AGN jet feedback mode is able to efficiently transport energy out to the diffuse IGM, causing changes in the shape and normalization of the CDD and a broadening of theb-value distribution. We find that stellar feedback plays a prominent role in regulating supermassive black hole growth and feedback, highlighting the importance of constraining stellar and AGN feedback simultaneously. In IllustrisTNG, the AGN feedback variations explored in CAMELS do not affect the Lyαforest, but varying the stellar feedback model does produce subtle changes. Our results imply that the low-zLyαforest can be sensitive to changes in the ultraviolet background, stellar and black hole feedback, and that AGN jet feedback in particular can have a strong effect on the thermal state of the IGM.

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  5. Abstract

    Galactic outflows driven by supernovae (SNe) are thought to be a powerful regulator of a galaxy’s star-forming efficiency. Mass, energy, and metal outflows (ηM,ηE, andηZ, here normalized by the star formation rate, the SNe energy, and metal production rates, respectively) shape galaxy properties by both ejecting gas and metals out of the galaxy and by heating the circumgalactic medium (CGM), preventing future accretion. Traditionally, models have assumed that galaxies self-regulate by ejecting a large fraction of the gas, which enters the interstellar medium (ISM), although whether such high mass loadings agree with observations is still unclear. To better understand how the relative importance of ejective (i.e., high mass loading) versus preventative (i.e., high energy loading) feedback affects the present-day properties of galaxies, we develop a simple gas-regulator model of galaxy evolution, where the stellar mass, ISM, and CGM are modeled as distinct reservoirs which exchange mass, metals, and energy at different rates within a growing halo. Focusing on the halo mass range from 1010to 1012M, we demonstrate that, with reasonable parameter choices, we can reproduce the stellar-to-halo mass relation and the ISM-to-stellar mass relation with low-mass-loaded (ηM∼ 0.1–10) but high-energy-loaded (ηE∼ 0.1–1) winds, with self-regulation occurring primarily through heating and cooling of the CGM. We show that the model predictions are robust against changes to the mass loading of outflows but are quite sensitive to our choice of the energy loading, preferringηE∼ 1 for the lowest-mass halos and ∼0.1 for Milky Way–like halos.

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  6. Abstract We present a suite of high-resolution simulations of an isolated dwarf galaxy using four different hydrodynamical codes: Gizmo , Arepo , Gadget , and Ramses . All codes adopt the same physical model, which includes radiative cooling, photoelectric heating, star formation, and supernova (SN) feedback. Individual SN explosions are directly resolved without resorting to subgrid models, eliminating one of the major uncertainties in cosmological simulations. We find reasonable agreement on the time-averaged star formation rates as well as the joint density–temperature distributions between all codes. However, the Lagrangian codes show significantly burstier star formation, larger SN-driven bubbles, and stronger galactic outflows compared to the Eulerian code. This is caused by the behavior in the dense, collapsing gas clouds when the Jeans length becomes unresolved: Gas in Lagrangian codes collapses to much higher densities than that in Eulerian codes, as the latter is stabilized by the minimal cell size. Therefore, more of the gas cloud is converted to stars and SNe are much more clustered in the Lagrangian models, amplifying their dynamical impact. The differences between Lagrangian and Eulerian codes can be reduced by adopting a higher star formation efficiency in Eulerian codes, which significantly enhances SN clustering in the latter. Adopting a zero SN delay time reduces burstiness in all codes, resulting in vanishing outflows as SN clustering is suppressed. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024

    Arkenstone is a new model for multiphase, stellar feedback-driven galactic winds designed for inclusion in coarse resolution cosmological simulations. In this first paper of a series, we describe the features that allow Arkenstone to properly treat high specific energy wind components and demonstrate them using idealized non-cosmological simulations of a galaxy with a realistic circumgalactic medium (CGM), using the arepo code. Hot, fast gas phases with low mass loadings are predicted to dominate the energy content of multiphase outflows. In order to treat the huge dynamic range of spatial scales involved in cosmological galaxy formation at feasible computational expense, cosmological volume simulations typically employ a Lagrangian code or else use adaptive mesh refinement with a quasi-Lagrangian refinement strategy. However, it is difficult to inject a high specific energy wind in a Lagrangian scheme without incurring artificial burstiness. Additionally, the low densities inherent to this type of flow result in poor spatial resolution. Arkenstone addresses these issues with a novel scheme for coupling energy into the transition region between the interstellar medium (ISM) and the CGM, while also providing refinement at the base of the wind. Without our improvements, we show that poor spatial resolution near the sonic point of a hot, fast outflow leads to an underestimation of gas acceleration as the wind propagates. We explore the different mechanisms by which low and high specific energy winds can regulate the star formation rate of galaxies. In future work, we will demonstrate other aspects of the Arkenstone model.

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  8. ABSTRACT Feedback driven by jets from active galactic nuclei is believed to be responsible for reducing cooling flows in cool-core galaxy clusters. We use simulations to model feedback from hydrodynamic jets in isolated haloes. While the jet propagation converges only after the diameter of the jet is well resolved, reliable predictions about the effects these jets have on the cooling time distribution function only require resolutions sufficient to keep the jet-inflated cavities stable. Comparing different model variations, as well as an independent jet model using a different hydrodynamics code, we show that the dominant uncertainties are the choices of jet properties within a given model. Independent of implementation, we find that light, thermal jets with low momentum flux tend to delay the onset of a cooling flow more efficiently on a 50 Myr time-scale than heavy, kinetic jets. The delay of the cooling flow originates from a displacement and boost in entropy of the central gas. If the jet kinetic luminosity depends on accretion rate, collimated, light, hydrodynamic jets are able to reduce cooling flows in haloes, without a need for jet precession or wide opening angles. Comparing the jet feedback with a ‘kinetic wind’ implementation shows that equal amounts of star formation rate reduction can be achieved by different interactions with the halo gas: the jet has a larger effect on the hot halo gas while leaving the denser, star-forming phase in place, while the wind acts more locally on the star-forming phase, which manifests itself in different time-variability properties. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 23, 2024
  9. Abstract

    Fuzzy dark matter (FDM) is a proposed modification for the standard cold dark matter (CDM) model motivated by small-scale discrepancies in low-mass galaxies. Composed of ultralight (mass ∼ 1022eV) axions with kiloparsec-scale de Broglie wavelengths, this is one of a class of candidates that predicts that the first collapsed objects form in relatively massive dark matter halos. This implies that the formation history of the first stars and galaxies would be very different, potentially placing strong constraints on such models. Here we numerically simulate the formation of the first stars in an FDM cosmology, following the collapse in a representative volume all the way down to primordial protostar formation including a primordial nonequilibrium chemical network and cooling for the first time. We find two novel results: first, the large-scale collapse results in a very thin and flat gas “pancake”; second, despite the very different cosmology, this pancake fragments until it forms protostellar objects indistinguishable from those in CDM. Combined, these results indicate that the first generation of stars in this model are also likely to be massive and, because of the sheet morphology, do not self-regulate, resulting in a massive Population III starburst. We estimate the total number of first stars forming in this extended structure to be 104over 20 Myr using a simple model to account for the ionizing feedback from the stars, and should be observable with the James Webb Space Telescope. These predictions provide a potential smoking gun signature of FDM and similar dark matter candidates.

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    The early growth of black holes (BHs) in high-redshift galaxies is likely feedback regulated. While radiative feedback has been extensively studied, the role of mechanical feedback has received less scrutiny to date. Here, we use high-resolution parsec-scale hydrodynamical simulations to study jet propagation and its effect on 100 M⊙ BH accretion in the dense, low-metallicity gas expected in early protogalaxies. As the jet propagates, it shocks the surrounding gas forming a jet cocoon. The cocoon consists of a rapidly cooling cold phase at the interface with the background gas and an overpressured subsonic phase of reverse shock-heated gas filling the interior. We vary the background gas density and temperature, BH feedback efficiency, and the jet model. We found that the width of the jet cocoon roughly follows a scaling derived by assuming momentum conservation in the jet-propagation direction and energy conservation in the lateral directions. Depending on the assumed gas and jet properties, the cocoon either stays elongated to large radii or isotropizes before reaching the Bondi radius, forming a nearly spherical bubble. Lower jet velocities and higher background gas densities result in self-regulation to higher momentum fluxes and elongated cocoons. In all cases, the outward cocoon momentum flux balances the inward inflowing gas momentum flux near the Bondi radius, which ultimately regulates BH accretion. The time-averaged accretion rate always remains below the Bondi rate, and exceeds the Eddington rate only if the ambient medium is dense and cold, and/or the jet is weak (low velocity and mass loading).

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