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  1. ABSTRACT

    Both observations and simulations have shown strong evidence for highly time-variable star formation in low-mass and/or high-redshift galaxies, which has important observational implications because high-redshift galaxy samples are rest-ultraviolet (rest-UV) selected and therefore particularly sensitive to the recent star formation. Using a suite of cosmological ‘zoom-in’ simulations at z > 5 from the Feedback in Realistic Environments project, we examine the implications of bursty star formation histories for observations of high-redshift galaxies with JWST. We characterize how the galaxy observability depends on the star formation history. We also investigate selection effects due to bursty star formation on the physical properties measured, such as the gas fraction, specific star formation rate, and metallicity. We find the observability to be highly time-dependent for galaxies near the survey’s limiting flux due to the star formation rate variability: as the star formation rate fluctuates, the same galaxy oscillates in and out of the observable sample. The observable fraction $f_\mathrm{obs} = 50~{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ at z ∼ 7 and M⋆ ∼ 108.5–$10^{9}\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ for a JWST/NIRCam survey reaching a limiting magnitude of $m^\mathrm{lim}_\mathrm{AB} \sim 29{\!-\!}30$, representative of surveys such as JADES and CEERS. JWST-detectable galaxies near the survey limit tend to have properties characteristic of galaxies in the bursty phase: on average, they show approximately 2.5 times higher cold, dense gas fractions and 20 times higher specific star formation rates at a given stellar mass than galaxies below the rest-UV detection threshold. Our study represents a first step in quantifying selection effects and the associated biases due to bursty star formation in studying high-redshift galaxy properties.

     
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  2. Abstract

    We present an in-depth analysis of gas morphologies for a sample of 25 Milky Way–like galaxies from the IllustrisTNG TNG50 simulation. We constrain the morphology of cold, warm, hot gas, and gas particles as a whole using a local shell iterative method and explore its observational implications by computing the hard-to-soft X-ray ratio, which ranges between 10−3and 10−2in the inner ∼50 kpc of the distribution and 10−5–10−4at the outer portion of the hot gas distribution. We group galaxies into three main categories: simple, stretched, and twisted. These categories are based on the radial reorientation of the principal axes of the reduced inertia tensor. We find that a vast majority (77%) of the galaxies in our sample exhibit twisting patterns in their radial profiles. Additionally, we present detailed comparisons between (i) the gaseous distributions belonging to individual temperature regimes, (ii) the cold gas distributions and stellar distributions, and (iii) the gaseous distributions and dark matter (DM) halos. We find a strong correlation between the morphological properties of the cold gas and stellar distributions. Furthermore, we find a correlation between gaseous distributions with a DM halo that increases with gas temperature, implying that we may use the warm–hot gaseous morphology as a tracer to probe the DM morphology. Finally, we show gaseous distributions exhibit significantly more prolate morphologies than the stellar distributions and DM halos, which we hypothesize is due to stellar and active galactic nucleus feedback.

     
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  3. Abstract

    Dark sector theories naturally lead to multicomponent scenarios for dark matter where a subcomponent can dissipate energy through self-interactions, allowing it to efficiently cool inside galaxies. We present the first cosmological hydrodynamical simulations of Milky Way analogs where the majority of dark matter is collisionless cold dark matter (CDM) but a subcomponent (6%) is strongly dissipative minimal atomic dark matter (ADM). The simulations, implemented inGIZMOand utilizing FIRE-2 galaxy formation physics to model the standard baryonic sector, demonstrate that the addition of even a small fraction of dissipative dark matter can significantly impact galactic evolution despite being consistent with current cosmological constraints. We show that ADM gas with roughly standard model–like masses and couplings can cool to form a rotating “dark disk” with angular momentum closely aligned with the visible stellar disk. The morphology of the disk depends sensitively on the parameters of the ADM model, which affect the cooling rates in the dark sector. The majority of the ADM gas gravitationally collapses into dark “clumps” (regions of black hole or mirror star formation), which form a prominent bulge and a rotating thick disk in the central galaxy. These clumps form early and quickly sink to the inner ∼kiloparsec of the galaxy, affecting the galaxy’s star formation history and present-day baryonic and CDM distributions.

     
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  4. Abstract

    Recent discoveries of a significant population of bright galaxies at cosmic dawnz10have enabled critical tests of cosmological galaxy formation models. In particular, the bright end of the galaxys’ UV luminosity functions (UVLFs) appear higher than predicted by many models. Using approximately 25,000 galaxy snapshots at 8 ≤z≤ 12 in a suite of FIRE-2 cosmological “zoom-in” simulations from the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) project, we show that the observed abundance of UV-bright galaxies at cosmic dawn is reproduced in these simulations with a multichannel implementation of standard stellar feedback processes, without any fine-tuning. Notably, we find no need to invoke previously suggested modifications, such as a nonstandard cosmology, a top-heavy stellar initial mass function, or a strongly enhanced star formation efficiency. We contrast the UVLFs predicted by bursty star formation in these original simulations to those derived from star formation histories (SFHs) smoothed over prescribed timescales (e.g., 100 Myr). The comparison demonstrates that the strongly time-variable SFHs predicted by the FIRE simulations play a key role in correctly reproducing the observed, bright-end UVLFs at cosmic dawn: the bursty SFHs induce order-or-magnitude changes in the abundance of UV-bright (MUV≲ −20) galaxies atz≳ 10. The predicted bright-end UVLFs are consistent with both the spectroscopically confirmed population and the photometrically selected candidates. We also find good agreement between the predicted and observationally inferred integrated UV luminosity densities, which evolve more weakly with redshift in FIRE than suggested by some other models.

     
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  5. ABSTRACT

    JWST observations have revealed a population of galaxies bright enough that potentially challenge standard galaxy formation models in the Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) cosmology. Using a minimal empirical framework, we investigate the influence of variability on the rest-frame ultra-violet (UV) luminosity function of galaxies at z ≥ 9. Our study differentiates between the median UV radiation yield and the variability of UV luminosities of galaxies at a fixed dark matter halo mass. We primarily focus on the latter effect, which depends on halo assembly and galaxy formation processes and can significantly increase the abundance of UV-bright galaxies due to the upscatter of galaxies in lower-mass haloes. We find that a relatively low level of variability, σUV ≈ 0.75 mag, matches the observational constraints at z ≈ 9. However, increasingly larger σUV is necessary when moving to higher redshifts, reaching $\sigma _{\rm UV} \approx 2.0\, (2.5)\, {\rm mag}$ at z ≈ 12 (16). This implied variability is consistent with expectations of physical processes in high-redshift galaxies such as bursty star formation and dust clearance during strong feedback cycles. Photometric constraints from JWST at z ≳ 9 therefore can be reconciled with a standard ΛCDM-based galaxy formation model calibrated at lower redshifts without the need for adjustments to the median UV radiation yield.

     
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  6. ABSTRACT

    Using high-resolution cosmological radiation-hydrodynamic (RHD) simulations (thesan-hr), we explore the impact of alternative dark matter (altDM) models on galaxies during the Epoch of Reionization. The simulations adopt the IllustrisTNG galaxy formation model. We focus on altDM models that exhibit small-scale suppression of the matter power spectrum, namely warm dark matter (WDM), fuzzy dark matter (FDM), and interacting dark matter (IDM) with strong dark acoustic oscillations (sDAO). In altDM scenarios, both the halo mass functions and the ultraviolet luminosity functions at z ≳ 6 are suppressed at the low-mass/faint end, leading to delayed global star formation and reionization histories. However, strong non-linear effects enable altDM models to ‘catch up’ with cold dark matter (CDM) in terms of star formation and reionization. The specific star formation rates are enhanced in halos below the half-power mass in altDM models. This enhancement coincides with increased gas abundance, reduced gas depletion times, more compact galaxy sizes, and steeper metallicity gradients at the outskirts of the galaxies. These changes in galaxy properties can help disentangle altDM signatures from a range of astrophysical uncertainties. Meanwhile, it is the first time that altDM models have been studied in RHD simulations of galaxy formation. We uncover significant systematic uncertainties in reionization assumptions on the faint-end luminosity function. This underscores the necessity of accurately modeling the small-scale morphology of reionization in making predictions for the low-mass galaxy population. Upcoming James Webb Space Telescope imaging surveys of deep lensed fields hold potential for uncovering the faint low-mass galaxy population, which could provide constraints on altDM models.

     
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  7. ABSTRACT

    Modelling self-gravity of collisionless fluids (e.g. ensembles of dark matter, stars, black holes, dust, and planetary bodies) in simulations is challenging and requires some force softening. It is often desirable to allow softenings to evolve adaptively, in any high-dynamic range simulation, but this poses unique challenges of consistency, conservation, and accuracy, especially in multiphysics simulations where species with different ‘softening laws’ may interact. We therefore derive a generalized form of the energy-and-momentum conserving gravitational equations of motion, applicable to arbitrary rules used to determine the force softening, together with consistent associated time-step criteria, interaction terms between species with different softening laws, and arbitrary maximum/minimum softenings. We also derive new methods to maintain better accuracy and conservation when symmetrizing forces between particles. We review and extend previously discussed adaptive softening schemes based on the local neighbour particle density, and present several new schemes for scaling the softening with properties of the gravitational field, i.e. the potential or acceleration or tidal tensor. We show that the ‘tidal softening’ scheme not only represents a physically motivated, translation and Galilean invariant and equivalence-principle respecting (and therefore conservative) method but also imposes negligible time-step or other computational penalties, ensuring that pairwise two-body scattering is small compared to smooth background forces and can resolve outstanding challenges in properly capturing tidal disruption of substructures (minimizing artificial destruction) while also avoiding excessive N-body heating. We make all of this public in the GIZMO code.

     
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  8. ABSTRACT We combine the isothermal Jeans model and the model of adiabatic halo contraction into a semi-analytic procedure for computing the density profile of self-interacting dark-matter (SIDM) haloes with the gravitational influence from the inhabitant galaxies. The model agrees well with cosmological SIDM simulations over the entire core-forming stage up to the onset of gravothermal core-collapse. Using this model, we show that the halo response to baryons is more diverse in SIDM than in CDM and depends sensitively on galaxy size, a desirable feature in the context of the structural diversity of bright dwarfs. The fast speed of the method facilitates analyses that would be challenging for numerical simulations – notably, we quantify the SIDM halo response as functions of the baryonic properties, on a fine mesh grid spanned by the baryon-to-total-mass ratio, Mb/Mvir, and galaxy compactness, r1/2/Rvir; we show with high statistical precision that for typical Milky-Way-like systems, the SIDM profiles are similar to their CDM counterparts; and we delineate the regime of core-collapse in the Mb/Mvir − r1/2/Rvir space, for a given cross section and concentration. Finally, we compare the isothermal Jeans model with the more sophisticated gravothermal fluid model, and show that the former yields faster core formation and agrees better with cosmological simulations. We attribute the difference to whether the target CDM halo is used as a boundary condition or as the initial condition for the gravothermal evolution, and thus comment on possible improvements of the fluid model. We have made our model publicly available at https://github.com/JiangFangzhou/SIDM. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 23, 2024
  9. ABSTRACT Line intensity mapping (LIM) is rapidly emerging as a powerful technique to study galaxy formation and cosmology in the high-redshift Universe. We present LIM estimates of select spectral lines originating from the interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies and 21 cm emission from neutral hydrogen gas in the Universe using the large volume, high resolution thesan reionization simulations. A combination of subresolution photoionization modelling for H ii regions and Monte Carlo radiative transfer calculations is employed to estimate the dust-attenuated spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of high-redshift galaxies (z ≳ 5.5). We show that the derived photometric properties such as the ultraviolet (UV) luminosity function and the UV continuum slopes match observationally inferred values, demonstrating the accuracy of the SED modelling. We provide fits to the luminosity–star formation rate relation (L–SFR) for the brightest emission lines and find that important differences exist between the derived scaling relations and the widely used low-z ones because the ISM of reionization era galaxies is generally less metal enriched than in their low-redshift counterparts. We use these relations to construct line intensity maps of nebular emission lines and cross-correlate with the 21 cm emission. Interestingly, the wavenumber at which the correlation switches sign (ktransition) depends heavily on the reionization model and to a lesser extent on the targeted emission line, which is consistent with the picture that ktransition probes the typical sizes of ionized regions. The derived scaling relations and intensity maps represent a timely state-of-the-art framework for forecasting and interpreting results from current and upcoming LIM experiments. 
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  10. ABSTRACT

    We perform cosmological zoom-in simulations of 19 relaxed cluster-mass haloes with the inclusion of adiabatic gas in the cold dark matter (CDM) and self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) models. These clusters are selected as dynamically relaxed clusters from a parent simulation with $M_{\rm 200} \simeq (1\!-\!3)\times 10^{15}{\, \rm M_\odot }$. Both the dark matter and the intracluster gas distributions in SIDM appear more spherical than their CDM counterparts. Mock X-ray images are generated based on the simulations and are compared to the real X-ray images of 84 relaxed clusters selected from the Chandra and ROSAT archives. We perform ellipse fitting for the isophotes of mock and real X-ray images and obtain the ellipticities at cluster-centric radii of $r\simeq 0.1\!-\!0.2R_{\rm 200}$. The X-ray isophotes in SIDM models with increasing cross-sections are rounder than their CDM counterparts, which manifests as a systematic shift in the distribution function of ellipticities. Unexpectedly, the X-ray morphology of the observed non-cool-core clusters agrees better with SIDM models with cross-section $(\sigma /m)= 0.5\!-\!1\, {\rm cm}^2\, {\rm g}^{-1}$ than CDM and SIDM with $(\sigma /m)=0.1\, {\rm cm}^2\, {\rm g}^{-1}$. Our statistical analysis indicates that the latter two models are disfavoured at the $68{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ confidence level (as conservative estimates). This conclusion is not altered by shifting the radial range of measurements or applying a temperature selection criterion. However, the primary uncertainty originates from the lack of baryonic physics in the adiabatic model, such as cooling, star formation and feedback effects, which still have the potential to reconcile CDM simulations with observations.

     
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