Andrew Benson - California Institute of Technology

Andrew Benson
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Andrew Benson
California Institute of Technology
United States

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Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (39)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (25)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (3)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (2)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)
Physics - Physics and Society (1)

Publications Authored By Andrew Benson

We propose a new method for generating equilibrium models of spherical systems of collisionless particles that are finite in extent, but whose central regions resemble dark matter halos from cosmological simulations. This method involves iteratively removing unbound particles from a Navarro-Frenk-White profile truncated sharply at some radius. The resulting models are extremely stable, and thus provide a good starting point for N-body simulations of isolated halos. Read More

Dwarf galaxies are known to have remarkably low star formation efficiency due to strong feedback. Adopting the dwarf galaxies of the Milky Way as a laboratory, we explore a flexible semi-analytic galaxy formation model to understand how the feedback processes shape the satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. Using Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo, we exhaustively search a large parameter space of the model and rigorously show that the general wisdom of strong outflows as the primary feedback mechanism cannot simultaneously explain the stellar mass function and the mass--metallicity relation of the Milky Way satellites. Read More

We present a clustering comparison of 12 galaxy formation models (including Semi-Analytic Models (SAMs) and Halo Occupation Distribution (HOD) models) all run on halo catalogues and merger trees extracted from a single {\Lambda}CDM N-body simulation. We compare the results of the measurements of the mean halo occupation numbers, the radial distribution of galaxies in haloes and the 2-Point Correlation Functions (2PCF). We also study the implications of the different treatments of orphan (galaxies not assigned to any dark matter subhalo) and non-orphan galaxies in these measurements. Read More

Here we explore the evolution of galaxy ensembles at early times by writing the in situ stellar mass growth of galaxies purely as a stationary stochastic (e.g., quasi-steady state) process. Read More

Authors: Demitri Muna, Michael Alexander, Alice Allen, Richard Ashley, Daniel Asmus, Ruyman Azzollini, Michele Bannister, Rachael Beaton, Andrew Benson, G. Bruce Berriman, Maciej Bilicki, Peter Boyce, Joanna Bridge, Jan Cami, Eryn Cangi, Xian Chen, Nicholas Christiny, Christopher Clark, Michelle Collins, Johan Comparat, Neil Cook, Darren Croton, Isak Delberth Davids, Éric Depagne, John Donor, Leonardo A. dos Santos, Stephanie Douglas, Alan Du, Meredith Durbin, Dawn Erb, Daniel Faes, J. G. Fernández-Trincado, Anthony Foley, Sotiria Fotopoulou, Søren Frimann, Peter Frinchaboy, Rafael Garcia-Dias, Artur Gawryszczak, Elizabeth George, Sebastian Gonzalez, Karl Gordon, Nicholas Gorgone, Catherine Gosmeyer, Katie Grasha, Perry Greenfield, Rebekka Grellmann, James Guillochon, Mark Gurwell, Marcel Haas, Alex Hagen, Daryl Haggard, Tim Haines, Patrick Hall, Wojciech Hellwing, Edmund Christian Herenz, Samuel Hinton, Renee Hlozek, John Hoffman, Derek Holman, Benne Willem Holwerda, Anthony Horton, Cameron Hummels, Daniel Jacobs, Jens Juel Jensen, David Jones, Arna Karick, Luke Kelley, Matthew Kenworthy, Ben Kitchener, Dominik Klaes, Saul Kohn, Piotr Konorski, Coleman Krawczyk, Kyler Kuehn, Teet Kuutma, Michael T. Lam, Richard Lane, Jochen Liske, Diego Lopez-Camara, Katherine Mack, Sam Mangham, Qingqing Mao, David J. E. Marsh, Cecilia Mateu, Loïc Maurin, James McCormac, Ivelina Momcheva, Hektor Monteiro, Michael Mueller, Roberto Munoz, Rohan Naidu, Nicholas Nelson, Christian Nitschelm, Chris North, Juan Nunez-Iglesias, Sara Ogaz, Russell Owen, John Parejko, Vera Patrício, Joshua Pepper, Marshall Perrin, Timothy Pickering, Jennifer Piscionere, Richard Pogge, Radek Poleski, Alkistis Pourtsidou, Adrian M. Price-Whelan, Meredith L. Rawls, Shaun Read, Glen Rees, Hanno Rein, Thomas Rice, Signe Riemer-Sørensen, Naum Rusomarov, Sebastian F. Sanchez, Miguel Santander-García, Gal Sarid, William Schoenell, Aleks Scholz, Robert L. Schuhmann, William Schuster, Peter Scicluna, Marja Seidel, Lijing Shao, Pranav Sharma, Aleksandar Shulevski, David Shupe, Cristóbal Sifón, Brooke Simmons, Manodeep Sinha, Ian Skillen, Bjoern Soergel, Thomas Spriggs, Sundar Srinivasan, Abigail Stevens, Ole Streicher, Eric Suchyta, Joshua Tan, O. Grace Telford, Romain Thomas, Chiara Tonini, Grant Tremblay, Sarah Tuttle, Tanya Urrutia, Sam Vaughan, Miguel Verdugo, Alexander Wagner, Josh Walawender, Andrew Wetzel, Kyle Willett, Peter K. G. Williams, Guang Yang, Guangtun Zhu, Andrea Zonca

The Astropy Project ( is, in its own words, "a community effort to develop a single core package for Astronomy in Python and foster interoperability between Python astronomy packages." For five years this project has been managed, written, and operated as a grassroots, self-organized, almost entirely volunteer effort while the software is used by the majority of the astronomical community. Read More

A common approach in semi-analytic modeling of galaxy formation is to construct Monte Carlo realizations of merger histories of dark matter halos whose masses are sampled from a halo mass function. Both the mass function itself, and the merger rates used to construct merging histories are calibrated to N-body simulations. Typically, "backsplash" halos (those which were once subhalos within a larger halo, but which have since moved outside of the halo) are counted in both the halo mass function, and in the merger rates (or, equivalently, progenitor mass functions). Read More

Many properties of the Milky Way's dark matter halo, including its mass assembly history, concentration, and subhalo population, remain poorly constrained. We explore the connection between these properties of the Milky Way and its satellite galaxy population, especially the implication of the presence of the Magellanic Clouds for the properties of the Milky Way halo. Using a suite of high-resolution $N$-body simulations of Milky Way-mass halos with a fixed final Mvir ~ 10^{12. Read More


Accurate modeling of galaxy formation in a hierarchical, cold dark matter universe requires the use of sufficiently high-resolution merger trees to obtain convergence in the predicted properties of galaxies. When semi-analytic galaxy formation models are applied to cosmological N-body simulation merger trees, it is often the case that those trees have insufficient resolution to give converged galaxy properties. We demonstrate a method to augment the resolution of N-body merger trees by grafting in branches of Monte Carlo merger trees with higher resolution, but which are consistent with the pre-existing branches in the N-body tree. Read More

Affiliations: 1ICC, Durham, 2ICC, Durham, 3ICC, Durham, 4Carnegie Observatories, 5ICC, Durham, 6ICC, Durham, 7ICC, Durham, 8ICC, Durham, 9ESO, Garching, 10ICC, Durham

We present a new version of the GALFORM semi-analytical model of galaxy formation. This brings together several previous developments of GALFORM into a single unified model, including a different initial mass function (IMF) in quiescent star formation and in starbursts, feedback from active galactic nuclei supressing gas cooling in massive halos, and a new empirical star formation law in galaxy disks based on their molecular gas content. In addition, we have updated the cosmology, introduced a more accurate treatment of dynamical friction acting on satellite galaxies, and updated the stellar population model. Read More

We present the results of a Keck-ESI study of dwarf galaxies across a range of environment: the Perseus Cluster, the Virgo Cluster, the NGC 1407 group, and the NGC 1023 group. Eighteen dEs are targeted for spectroscopy, three for the first time. We confirm cluster membership for one Virgo dE, and group membership for one dE in the NGC 1023 group, and one dE in the NGC 1407 group for the first time. Read More

We develop a simple analytical model that tracks galactic metallicities governed by star formation and feedback to gain insight from the observed galaxy stellar mass-metallicity relations over a large range of stellar masses and redshifts. The model reveals the following implications of star formation and feedback processes in galaxy formation. First, the observed metallicity relations provide a stringent upper limit for the averaged outflow mass-loading factors of local galaxies, which is ~20 for M_*~10^9Msun galaxies and monotonically decreases to ~1 for M_*~10^{11}Msun galaxies. Read More

We present a comparison of 14 galaxy formation models: 12 different semi-analytical models and 2 halo-occupation distribution models for galaxy formation based upon the same cosmological simulation and merger tree information derived from it. The participating codes have proven to be very successful in their own right but they have all been calibrated independently using various observational data sets, stellar models, and merger trees. In this paper we apply them without recalibration and this leads to a wide variety of predictions for the stellar mass function, specific star formation rates, stellar-to- halo mass ratios, and the abundance of orphan galaxies. Read More

We describe the methodology to include nonlinear evolution, including tidal effects, in the computation of subhalo distribution properties in both cold (CDM) and warm (WDM) dark matter universes. Using semi-analytic modeling, we include effects from dynamical friction, tidal stripping, and tidal heating, allowing us to dynamically evolve the subhalo distribution. We calibrate our nonlinear evolution scheme to the CDM subhalo mass function in the Aquarius N-body simulation, producing a subhalo mass function within the range of simulations. Read More

We present a simulation setup for studying the dynamical and chemical evolution of the intracluster medium (ICM) and analyze a sample of 12 galaxy clusters that are diverse both kinetically (pre-merger, merging, virialized) and in total mass (M vir = 1.17 x 10^14 - 1.06 x 10^15 M). Read More

As galaxy formation and evolution over long cosmic time-scales depends to a large degree on the structure of the universe, the assembly history of galaxies is potentially a powerful approach for learning about the universe itself. In this paper we examine the merger history of dark matter halos based on the Extended Press-Schechter formalism as a function of cosmological parameters, redshift and halo mass. We calculate how major halo mergers are influenced by changes in the cosmological values of $\Omega_{\rm m}$, $\Omega_{\Lambda}$, $\sigma_{8}$, the dark matter particle temperature (warm vs. Read More

We compare predictions of cooled masses and cooling rates from three stripped-down Semi-Analytic Models (SAMs) of galaxy formation with the results of N-body+SPH simulations with gas particle mass of 3.9x10^6 Msun, where radiative cooling of a gas of primordial composition is implemented. We also run a simulation where cooling is switched on at redshift ~2, in order to test cooling models in a regime in which their approximations are expected to be valid. Read More

Well-motivated particle physics theories predict the existence of particles (such as sterile neutrinos) which acquire non-negligible thermal velocities in the early universe. These particles could behave as warm dark matter (WDM) and generate a small-scale cutoff in the linear density power spectrum which scales approximately inversely with the particle mass. If this mass is of order a keV, the cutoff occurs on the scale of dwarf galaxies. Read More

A number of recent challenges to the standard Lambda-CDM paradigm relate to discrepancies that arise in comparing the abundance and kinematics of local dwarf galaxies with the predictions of numerical simulations. Such arguments rely heavily on the assumption that the local dwarf and satellite galaxies form a representative distribution in terms of their stellar-to-halo mass ratios. To address this question, we present new, deep spectroscopy using DEIMOS on Keck for 82 low mass (10^7-10^9 solar masses) star-forming galaxies at intermediate redshift (z=0. Read More

Affiliations: 1UChicago/KICP, 2Carnegie Observatories, 3Carnegie Observatories, 4Carnegie Observatories, 5Carnegie Observatories

A robust prediction of $\Lambda{\rm CDM}$ cosmology is the halo circular velocity function (CVF), a dynamical cousin of the halo mass function. The correspondence between theoretical and observed CVFs is uncertain, however: cluster galaxies are reported to exhibit a power-law CVF consistent with $N$-body simulations, but that of the field is distinctly Schechter-like, flattened relative to $\Lambda{\rm CDM}$ expectations at circular velocities $v_c \lesssim 200\, {\rm km\, s^{-1}}$. Groups offer a powerful probe of the role environment plays in this discrepancy as they bridge the field and clusters. Read More

We study the oscillations and stability of self-gravitating cylindrically symmetric fluid systems and collisionless systems. This is done by studying small perturbations to the equilibrium system and finding the normal modes, using methods similar to those used in astroseismology. We find that there is a single sequence of purely radial modes that become unstable if the adiabatic exponent is less than 1. Read More

We present a new method to compute the first crossing distribution in excursion set theory for the case of correlated random walks. We use a combination of the path integral formalism of Maggiore & Riotto, and the integral equation solution of Zhang & Hui, and Benson et al. to find a numerically robust and convenient algorithm to derive the first crossing distribution in terms of a perturbative expansion around the limit of an uncorrelated random walk. Read More

We study the impact of star formation and stellar feedback prescriptions on galaxy properties predicted by means of "stripped-down" versions of independently developed semi-analytic models (SAMs). These include cooling, star formation, feedback from supernovae (SNe) and simplified prescriptions for galaxy merging, but no chemical evolution, disc instabilities or AGN feedback. We run these versions on identical samples of dark matter (DM) haloes extracted from high-resolution N-body simulations in order to perform both statistical analysis and object-by-object comparisons. Read More

Affiliations: 1Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, USA, 2University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA, 3University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

The escape of ionizing radiation from galaxies plays a critical role in the evolution of gas in galaxies, and the heating and ionization history of the intergalactic medium. We present semi-analytic calculations of the escape fraction of ionizing radiation for both hydrogen and helium from galaxies ranging from primordial systems to disk-type galaxies that are not heavily dust-obscured. We consider variations in the galaxy density profile, source type, location, and spectrum, and gas overdensity/distribution factors. Read More

We present a spectro-photometric survey of 2522 extragalactic globular clusters (GCs) around twelve early-type galaxies, nine of which have not been published previously. Combining space-based and multi-colour wide field ground-based imaging, with spectra from the Keck DEIMOS instrument, we obtain an average of 160 GC radial velocities per galaxy, with a high velocity precision of 15 km/s per GC. After studying the photometric properties of the GC systems, such as their spatial and colour distributions, we focus on the kinematics of metal-poor (blue) and metal-rich (red) GC subpopulations to an average distance of ~8 effective radii from the galaxy centre. Read More

Affiliations: 1Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, CA, U.S.A, 2Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, 3Institute for Computational Cosmology, University of Durham, Durham, UK, 4Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA, 5Institute for Computational Cosmology, University of Durham, Durham, UK, 6Institute for Computational Cosmology, University of Durham, Durham, UK, 7Institute for Computational Cosmology, University of Durham, Durham, UK, 8Institute for Computational Cosmology, University of Durham, Durham, UK, 9Institute for Computational Cosmology, University of Durham, Durham, UK

We describe a methodology to accurately compute halo mass functions, progenitor mass functions, merger rates and merger trees in non-cold dark matter universes using a self-consistent treatment of the generalized extended Press-Schechter formalism. Our approach permits rapid exploration of the subhalo population of galactic halos in dark matter models with a variety of different particle properties or universes with rolling, truncated, or more complicated power spectra. We make detailed comparisons of analytically derived mass functions and merger histories with recent warm dark matter cosmological N-body simulations, and find excellent agreement. Read More

We report on the discovery of strong tidal features around a dwarf spheroidal galaxy in the Hydra I galaxy cluster, indicating its ongoing tidal disruption. This very low surface brightness object, HCC-087, was originally classified as an early-type dwarf in the Hydra Cluster Catalogue (HCC), but our re-analysis of the ESO-VLT/FORS images of the HCC unearthed a clear indication of an S-shaped morphology and a large spatial extent. Its shape, luminosity (M_V=-11. Read More

Affiliations: 1Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham, 2Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham, 3Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham, 4Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham, 5Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham, 6Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham, 7Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham, 8Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham, 9Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, 10Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham, 11Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham, 12Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham

We introduce a method for constructing end-to-end mock galaxy catalogues using a semi-analytical model of galaxy formation, applied to the halo merger trees extracted from a cosmological N-body simulation. The mocks that we construct are lightcone catalogues, in which a galaxy is placed according to the epoch at which it first enters the past lightcone of the observer, and incorporate the evolution of galaxy properties with cosmic time. We determine the position between the snapshot outputs at which a galaxy enters the observer's lightcone by interpolation. Read More

Affiliations: 1California Institute of Technology, 2Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Universita, Sezione de Astronomia, Italy, 3Isservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Italy, 4Department of Physics and Astronomy, Center for Cosmology, University of California, 5Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Universita, Sezione de Astronomia, Italy

Dark matter halo merger trees are now routinely extracted from cosmological simulations of structure formation. These trees are frequently used as inputs to semi-analytic models of galaxy formation to provide the backbone within which galaxy formation takes place. By necessity, these merger trees are constructed from a finite set of discrete "snapshots" of the N-body simulation and so have a limited temporal resolution. Read More

The first stars and quasars are known sources of hard ionizing radiation in the first billion years of the Universe. We examine the joint effects of X-rays and hard UV radiation from such first-light sources on the hydrogen and helium reionization of the intergalactic medium (IGM) at early times, and the associated heating. We study the growth and evolution of individual HII, HeII and HeIII regions around early galaxies with first stars and/or QSO populations. Read More

We present a global analysis of kinematics and metallicity in the nearest S0 galaxy, NGC 3115, along with implications for its assembly history. The data include high-quality wide-field imaging from Suprime-Cam on the Subaru telescope, and multi-slit spectra of the field stars and globular clusters (GCs) obtained using Keck-DEIMOS/LRIS and Magellan-IMACS. Within two effective radii, the bulge (as traced by the stars and metal-rich GCs) is flattened and rotates rapidly (v/sigma > 1. Read More

Affiliations: 1ICC, Durham, 2ICC, Durham, 3ICC, Durham, 4Caltech, 5ICC, Durham, 6Western University

We study the evolution of the cold gas content of galaxies by splitting the interstellar medium into its atomic and molecular hydrogen components, using the galaxy formation model GALFORM in the LCDM framework. We calculate the molecular-to-atomic hydrogen mass ratio, H2/HI, in each galaxy using two different approaches; the pressure-based empirical relation of Blitz & Rosolowsky and the theoretical model of Krumholz, McKeee & Tumlinson, and apply them to consistently calculate the star formation rates of galaxies. We find that the model based on the Blitz & Rosolowsky law predicts an HI mass function, CO(1-0) luminosity function, correlations between the H2/HI ratio and stellar and cold gas mass, and infrared-CO luminosity relation in good agreement with local and high redshift observations. Read More

Using data from the COSMOS survey, we perform the first joint analysis of galaxy-galaxy weak lensing, galaxy spatial clustering, and galaxy number densities. Carefully accounting for sample variance and for scatter between stellar and halo mass, we model all three observables simultaneously using a novel and self-consistent theoretical framework. Our results provide strong constraints on the shape and redshift evolution of the stellar-to-halo mass relation (SHMR) from z=0. Read More

We present a model for the satellites of the Milky Way in which galaxy formation is followed using semi-analytic techniques applied to the six high-resolution N-body simulations of galactic halos of the Aquarius project. The model, calculated using the Galform code, incorporates improved treatments of the relevant physics in the LambdaCDM cosmogony, particularly a self-consistent calculation of reionization by UV photons emitted by the forming galaxy population, including the progenitors of the central galaxy. Along the merger tree of each halo, the model calculates gas cooling (by Compton scattering off cosmic microwave background photons, molecular hydrogen and atomic processes), gas heating (from hydrogen photoionization and supernova energy), star formation and evolution. Read More

While the dark matter content within the most massive giant and smallest dwarf galaxies has been probed -- spanning a range of over one million in mass -- an important observational gap remains for galaxies of intermediate mass. This gap covers K band magnitudes of approximately -16 > M_K > -18 (for which dwarf galaxies have B--K ~ 2). On the high mass side of the gap are dwarf elliptical (dE) galaxies, that are dominated by stars in their inner regions. Read More

We investigate the consequences of applying different star formation laws in the galaxy formation model GALFORM. Three broad star formation laws are implemented: the empirical relations of Kennicutt and Schmidt and Blitz & Rosolowsky and the theoretical model of Krumholz, McKee & Tumlinson. These laws have no free parameters once calibrated against observations of the star formation rate (SFR) and gas surface density in nearby galaxies. Read More

We explore a dark-matter model in which there are two dark-matter species nearly degenerate in mass, with epsilon = Delta M/M << 1. The heavier particle undergoes two-body decay with a half-life tau, to the lighter dark-matter particle and a noninteracting massless particle. Unlike previous work on decaying dark matter, we explore the regime tau > 100 Myr and non-relativistic kick speeds vk / c = epsilon. Read More

We consider constraints on a phenomenological dark-matter model consisting of two nearly degenerate particle species using observed properties of the Milky Way satellite galaxy population. The two parameters of this model, assuming the particle masses are >~ GeV, are v_k, the recoil speed of the daughter particle, and tau, the lifetime of the parent particle. The satellite constraint that spans the widest range of v_k is the number of satellites that have a mass within 300 pc M300 > 5 x 10^6 solar masses, although constraints based on M300 in the classical dwarfs and the overall velocity function are competitive for v_k >~ 50 km/s. Read More

We describe a new, free and open source semi-analytic model of galaxy formation, Galacticus. The Galacticus model was designed to be highly modular to facilitate expansion and the exploration of alternative descriptions of key physical ingredients. We detail the Galacticus engine for evolving galaxies through a merging hierarchy of dark matter halos and give details of the specific implementations of physics currently available in Galacticus. Read More

Affiliations: 1California Institute of Technology

We review the current theory of how galaxies form within the cosmological framework provided by the cold dark matter paradigm for structure formation. Beginning with the pre-galactic evolution of baryonic material we describe the analytical and numerical understanding of how baryons condense into galaxies, what determines the structure of those galaxies and how internal and external processes (including star formation, merging, active galactic nuclei etc.) determine their gross properties and evolution. Read More

Affiliations: 1California Institute of Technology, 2California Institute of Technology, 3California Institute of Technology, 4California Institute of Technology, 5Astronomy Department, University of Washington

We have analyzed high resolution N-body simulations of dark matter halos, focusing specifically on the evolution of angular momentum. We find that not only is individual particle angular momentum not conserved, but the angular momentum of radial shells also varies over the age of the Universe by up to factors of a few. We find that torques from external structure are the most likely cause for this distribution shift. Read More

Affiliations: 1California Institute of Technology, 2University of Durham

A generic expectation for gas accreted by high mass haloes is that it is shock heated to the virial temperature of the halo. In low mass haloes, or at high redshift, however, the gas cooling rate is sufficiently rapid that an accretion shock is unlikely to form. Instead, gas can accrete directly into the centre of the halo in a `cold mode' of accretion. Read More

We use stripped-down versions of three semi-analytic galaxy formation models to study the influence of different assumptions about gas cooling and galaxy mergers. By running the three models on identical sets of merger trees extracted from high-resolution cosmological N-body simulations, we are able to perform both statistical analyses and halo-by-halo comparisons. Our study demonstrates that there is a good statistical agreement between the three models used here, when operating on the same merger trees, reflecting a general agreement in the underlying framework for semi-analytic models. Read More

Affiliations: 1California Institute of Technology, 2University of Durham

Over the past several decades, galaxy formation theory has met with significant successes. In order to test current theories thoroughly we require predictions for as yet unprobed regimes. To this end, we describe a new implementation of the Galform semi-analytic model of galaxy formation. Read More

We investigate the assembly of groups and clusters of galaxies using the Millennium dark matter simulation and the associated gas simulations and semi-analytic catalogues of galaxies. In particular, in order to find an observable quantity that could be used to identify early-formed groups, we study the development of the difference in magnitude between their brightest galaxies to assess the use of magnitude gaps as possible indicators. We select galaxy groups and clusters at redshift z=1 with dark matter halo mass M(R200) > 1E13/h Msun, and trace their properties until the present time (z=0). Read More

(Abridged) We use N-body simulations to study the effects that a divergent (i.e. "cuspy") dark matter (DM) profile introduces on the tidal evolution of dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs). Read More

Affiliations: 1California Institute of Technology, 2California Institute of Technology

Recent observations of galaxy clusters have shown that environmental effects apparently associated with the cluster begin to lower the star formation rates of galaxies at distances as great as three times the cluster virial radius. These observations may indicate preprocessing of cluster galaxies in groups or in the cluster core for galaxies on highly elliptical orbits, but may also imply that the environmental effects due to the cluster are directly affecting galaxies on their first infall. To explore these issues, we investigate different models of ram pressure stripping as it acts on satellite galaxies in clusters, and compare to observations of the radial star formation gradient in clusters. Read More

Affiliations: 1California Institute of Technology, 2Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

The Galform semi-analytic model of galaxy formation is used to explore the mechanisms primarily responsible for the three types of galaxies seen in the local universe: bulge, bulge+disk and disk, identified with the visual morphological types E, S0/a-Sbc, and Sc-Scd, respectively. With a suitable choice of parameters the Galform model can accurately reproduce the observed local K_s-band luminosity function (LF) for galaxies split by visual morphological type. The successful set of model parameters is used to populate the Millennium Simulation with 9. Read More

Affiliations: 1California Institute of Technology, 2University of Victoria

Unbounded outflows in the form of highly collimated jets and broad winds appear to be a ubiquitous feature of accreting black hole systems. The most powerful jets are thought to derive a significant fraction, if not the majority, of their power from the rotational energy of the black hole. Whatever the precise mechanism that causes them, these jets must therefore exert a braking torque on the black hole. Read More

Models of disk galaxy formation commonly predict the existence of an extended reservoir of accreted hot gas surrounding massive spirals at low redshift. As a test of these models, we use X-ray and H-alpha data of the two massive, quiescent edge-on spirals NGC 5746 and NGC 5170 to investigate the amount and origin of any hot gas in their halos. Contrary to our earlier claim, the Chandra analysis of NGC 5746, employing more recent calibration data, does not reveal any significant evidence for diffuse X-ray emission outside the optical disk, with a 3-sigma upper limit to the halo X-ray luminosity of 4e39 erg/s. Read More