Jeremiah P. Ostriker - Princeton University/Columbia University

Jeremiah P. Ostriker
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Jeremiah P. Ostriker
Princeton University/Columbia University
United States

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Astrophysics of Galaxies (30)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (25)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (7)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (4)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (2)
Astrophysics (2)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (2)
High Energy Physics - Theory (1)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (1)

Publications Authored By Jeremiah P. Ostriker

We present three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations showing the effect of kinetic and radiative AGN feedback on a model galaxy representing a massive quiescent low-redshift early-type galaxy of $M_* = 8.41\times 10^{10} M_\odot$, harbouring a $M_\mathrm{BH} = 4\times 10^8 M_\odot $ black hole surrounded by a cooling gaseous halo. We show that, for a total baryon fraction of $\sim 20\%$ of the cosmological value, feedback from the AGN can keep the galaxy quiescent for about 4. Read More

Various heuristic approaches to model unresolved supernova (SN) feedback in galaxy formation simulations exist to reproduce the formation of spiral galaxies and the overall inefficient conversion of gas into stars. Some models, however, require resolution dependent scalings. We present a sub-resolution model representing the three major phases of supernova blast wave evolution $-$free expansion, energy conserving Sedov-Taylor, and momentum conserving snowplow$-$ with energy scalings adopted from high-resolution interstellar-medium simulations in both uniform and multiphase media. Read More

Numerical simulations have become a major tool for understanding galaxy formation and evolution. Over the decades the field has made significant progress. It is now possible to simulate the formation of individual galaxies and galaxy populations from well defined initial conditions with realistic abundances and global properties. Read More

The OVI $\lambda\lambda$1032, 1038\AA\ doublet emission traces collisionally ionized gas with $T\approx 10^{5.5}$ K, where the cooling curve peaks for metal-enriched plasma. This warm-hot phase is usually not well-resolved in numerical simulations of the multiphase interstellar medium (ISM), but can be responsible for a significant fraction of the emitted energy. Read More

The interplay between supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their environments is believed to command an essential role in galaxy evolution. The majority of these SMBHs are in the radiative inefficient accretion phase where this interplay remains elusive, but suggestively important, due to few observational constraints. To remedy this, we directly fit 2-D hydrodynamic simulations to Chandra observations of Sgr A* with Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling, self-consistently modelling the 2-D inflow-outflow solution for the first time. Read More

We ask how the inclusion of various physical heating processes due to the metal content of gas affect the evolution of massive galaxies and compute a suite of cosmological hydrodynamical simulations that follow these systems and their supermassive black holes. We use a smoothed particle hydrodynamics code with a pressure-entropy formulation and a more accurate treatment of the metal production, turbulent diffusion and cooling rate based on individual element abundances. The feedback models include (1) AGN feedback via high velocity BAL winds and Compton/photoionization heating, (2) explicit stellar feedback from multiple processes including powerful winds from supernova events, stellar winds from young massive stars and AGB stars as well as radiative heating within Stromgren spheres around massive stars, and (3) additional heating effects due to the presence of metals including grain photoelectric heating, metallicity dependent X-ray heating by nearby accreting black holes and from the cosmic X-ray background, which are the major improvement in our feedback model. Read More

Galactic outflows are ubiquitously observed in star-forming disk galaxies and are critical for galaxy formation. Supernovae (SNe) play the key role in driving the outflows, but there is no consensus as to how much energy, mass and metal they can launch out of the disk. We perform 3D, high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations to study SNe-driven outflows from stratified media. Read More

An intriguing alternative to cold dark matter (CDM) is that the dark matter is a light ( $m \sim 10^{-22}$ eV) boson having a de Broglie wavelength $\lambda \sim 1$ kpc, often called fuzzy dark matter (FDM). We describe the arguments from particle physics that motivate FDM, review previous work on its astrophysical signatures, and analyze several unexplored aspects of its behavior. In particular, (i) FDM halos smaller than about $10^7 (m/10^{-22} {\rm eV})^{-3/2} M_\odot$ do not form. Read More

Nuclear star clusters (NSCs) and supermassive black holes (SMBHs) both inhabit galactic nuclei, coexisting in a range of bulge masses, but excluding each other in the largest or smallest galaxies. We propose that the transformation of NSCs into SMBHs occurs via runaway tidal captures, once NSCs exceed a certain critical central density and velocity dispersion. The bottleneck in this process, as with all collisional runaways, is growing the first e-fold in black hole mass. Read More

We study very-high rate spherically symmetric accretion flows onto a massive black hole (BH; 10^2 < M_BH < 10^6 Msun) embedded in a dense gas cloud with a low abundance of metals, performing one-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations which include multi-frequency radiation transfer and non-equilibrium primordial chemistry. We find that rapid gas supply from the Bondi radius at a hyper-Eddington rate can occur without being impeded by radiation feedback when (n/10^5 cm^-3) > (M_BH/10^4Msun)^{-1}(T/10^4 K)^{3/2}, where n and T are the density and temperature of ambient gas outside of the Bondi radius. The resulting accretion rate in this regime is steady, and larger than 3000 times the Eddington rate. Read More

We present a hydrodynamical simulation of the turbulent, magnetized, supernova (SN)-driven interstellar medium (ISM) in a stratified box that dynamically couples the injection and evolution of cosmic rays (CRs) and a self-consistent evolution of the chemical composition. CRs are treated as a relativistic fluid in the advection-diffusion approximation. The thermodynamic evolution of the gas is computed using a chemical network that follows the abundances of H+, H, H2, CO, C+, and free electrons and includes (self-)shielding of the gas and dust. Read More

Supernovae (SN), the most energetic stellar feedback mechanism, are crucial for regulating the interstellar medium (ISM) and launching galactic winds. We explore how supernova remnants (SNRs) create a multiphase medium by performing 3D hydrodynamical simulations at various SN rates, $S$, and ISM average densities, $\bar{n}$. The evolution of a SNR in a self-consistently generated three-phase ISM is qualitatively different from that in a uniform or a two-phase warm/cold medium. Read More

Halo Abundance Matching has been used to construct a one-parameter mapping between galaxies and dark matter haloes by assuming that halo mass and galaxy luminosity (or stellar mass) are monotonically related. While this approach has been reasonably successful, it is known that galaxies must be described by at least two parameters, as can be seen from the two-parameter Fundamental Plane on which massive early-type galaxies lie. In this paper, we derive a connection between initial dark matter density perturbations in the early universe and present-day virialized dark matter haloes by assuming simple spherical collapse combined with conservation of mass and energy. Read More

We present a potential-density pair designed to model nearly isothermal star clusters (and similar self-gravitating systems) with a central core and an outer turnover radius, beyond which density falls off as $r^{-4}$. In the intermediate zone, the profile is similar to that of an isothermal sphere (density $\rho \propto r^{-2}$), somewhat less steep than the King 62 profile, and with the advantage that many dynamical quantities can be written in a simple closed form. We derive new analytic expressions for the cluster binding energy and velocity dispersion, and apply these to create toy models for cluster core collapse and evaporation. Read More

We describe a new method for adding a prescribed amount of kinetic energy to simulated gas modeled on a cartesian grid by directly altering grid cells' mass and velocity in a distributed fashion. The method is explored in the context of supernova feedback in high-resolution ($\sim 10$ pc) hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy formation. Resolution-dependence is a primary consideration in our application of the method and simulations of isolated explosions (performed at different resolutions) motivate a resolution-dependent scaling for the injected fraction of kinetic energy that we apply in cosmological simulations of a $10^9$ Msun dwarf halo. Read More

We investigate the evolution of stellar population gradients from $z=2$ to $z=0$ in massive galaxies at large radii ($r > 2R_{\mathrm{eff}}$) using ten cosmological zoom simulations of halos with $6 \times 10^{12} M_{\odot} < M_{\mathrm{halo}} < 2 \times 10^{13}M_{\odot}$. The simulations follow metal cooling and enrichment from SNII, SNIa and AGB winds. We explore the differential impact of an empirical model for galactic winds that reproduces the mass-metallicity relation and its evolution with redshift. Read More

We employ cosmological hydrodynamical simulations to investigate the effects of AGN feedback on the formation of massive galaxies with present-day stellar masses of $M_{stel} = 8.8 \times 10^{10} - 6.0 \times 10^{11} M_{sun}$. Read More

Based on two-dimensional high resolution hydrodynamic numerical simulation, we study the mechanical and radiative feedback effects from the central AGN on the cosmological evolution of an isolated elliptical galaxy. Physical processes such as star formation and supernovae are considered. The inner boundary of the simulation domain is carefully chosen so that the fiducial Bondi radius is resolved and the accretion rate of the black hole is determined self-consistently. Read More

We study the effects of a detailed dust treatment on the properties and evolution of early-type galaxies containing central black holes, as determined by AGN feedback. We find that during cooling flow episodes, radiation pressure on the dust in and interior to infalling shells of cold gas can greatly impact the amount of gas able to be accreted and therefore the frequency of AGN bursts. However, the overall hydrodynamic evolution of all models, including mass budget, is relatively robust to the assumptions on dust. Read More

Using basic physical arguments, we derive by dimensional and physical analysis the characteristic masses and sizes of important objects in the Universe in terms of just a few fundamental constants. This exercise illustrates the unifying power of physics and the profound connections between the small and the large in the Cosmos we inhabit. We focus on the minimum and maximum masses of normal stars, the corresponding quantities for neutron stars, the maximum mass of a rocky planet, the maximum mass of a white dwarf, and the mass of a typical galaxy. Read More

We investigate the differential effects of metal cooling and galactic stellar winds on the cosmological formation of individual galaxies with three sets of cosmological, hydrodynamical zoom simulations of 45 halos in the mass range 10^111 and predict reasonable star formation histories, (ii) produce galaxies with high cold gas fractions (30-60 per cent) at high redshift, (iii) significantly reduce the galaxy formation efficiencies for halos (M_halo<10^12M_sun) at all redshifts in agreement with observational and abundance matching constraints, (iv) result in high-redshift galaxies with reduced circular velocities matching the observed Tully-Fisher relation at z~2, and (v) significantly increase the sizes of low-mass galaxies (M_stellar<3x10^10M_sun) at high redshift resulting in a weak size evolution - a trend in agreement with observations. However, the low redshift (z<0. Read More

We study the effect of AGN mechanical and radiation feedback on the formation of bulge dominated galaxies via mergers of disc galaxies. The merging galaxies have mass-ratios of 1:1 to 6:1 and include pre-existing hot gaseous halos to properly account for the global impact of AGN feedback. Using smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulation code (GADGET-3) we compare three models with different AGN feedback models: (1) no black hole and no AGN feedback; (2) thermal AGN feedback; and (3) mechanical and radiative AGN feedback. Read More

We revisit the hypothesis that dense galactic nuclei are formed from inspiraling globular clusters. Recent advances in understanding of the continuous formation of globular clusters over cosmic time and the concurrent evolution of the galaxy stellar distribution allow us to construct a simple model that matches the observed spatial and mass distributions of clusters in the Galaxy and the giant elliptical galaxy M87. In order to compare with observations, we model the effects of dynamical friction and dynamical evolution, including stellar mass loss, tidal stripping of stars, and tidal disruption of clusters by the growing galactic nucleus. Read More

Accretion is thought to primarily contribute to the mass accumulation history of supermassive black holes throughout cosmic time. While this may be true at high redshifts, at lower redshifts and for the most massive black holes mergers themselves might add significantly to the mass budget. We evolve SMBHs from $4 > z > 0$ using merger trees derived from hydrodynamical cosmological simulations of a cluster and void region, scaled to the observed value of the stellar mass fraction to account for overcooling. Read More

We perform time-dependent, 2DHD numerical simulations to study the dynamics of a slowly rotating accretion flow from sub-pc to pc scales under the irradiation from the central AGN. Compared to previous work, we improve the calculation of the radiative force due to X-rays. More importantly, in addition to radiative pressure and radiative heating/cooling directly from the central AGN, in the momentum equation we also include the force due to the scattered and reprocessed photons. Read More

We present a model for merger-driven evolution of the mass function for massive galaxies and their central supermassive black holes at late times. We discuss the current observational evidence in favor of merger-driven massive galaxy evolution during this epoch, and demonstrate that the observed evolution of the mass function can be reproduced by evolving an initial mass function under the assumption of negligible star formation. We calculate the stochastic gravitational wave signal from the resulting black-hole binary mergers in the low redshift universe (z <= 1) implied by this model, and find that this population has a signal-to-noise ratio as much as ~5x larger than previous estimates for pulsar timing arrays, with an expectation value for the characteristic strain h_c (f=1 yr^{-1}) = 4. Read More

Recent observations of massive galaxies indicate that they double in mass and quintuple in size between redshift z = 1 and the present, despite undergoing very little star formation, suggesting that galaxy mergers drive the evolution. Since these galaxies will contain supermassive black holes, this suggests a larger black hole merger rate, and therefore a larger gravitational-wave signal, than previously expected. We calculate the merger-driven evolution of the mass function, and find that merger rates are 10 to 30 times higher and gravitational waves are 3 to 5 times stronger than previously estimated, so that the gravitational-wave signal may already be detectable with existing data from pulsar timing arrays. Read More

There is observational evidence for inside-out growth of elliptical galaxies since $z \gtrsim 2-3$, which is not driven by in-situ star formation. Many systems at high redshift have small sizes $\sim 1kpc$ and surface brightness profiles with low Sersic indices n. The most likely descendants have, on average, grown by a factor of two in mass and a factor of four in size, indicating $r \propto M^{\alpha}$ with $\alpha \gtrsim 2$. Read More

Accretion onto a supermassive black hole of a rotating inflow is a particularly difficult problem to study because of the wide range of length scales involved. There have been broadly utilized analytic and numerical treatments of the global properties of accretion flows, but detailed numerical simulations are required to address certain critical aspects. We use the ZEUS code to run hydrodynamical simulations of rotating, axisymmetric accretion flows with Bremsstrahlung cooling, considering solutions for which the centrifugal balance radius significantly exceeds the Schwarzschild radius, with and without viscous angular momentum transport. Read More

We revisit collisionless major and minor mergers of spheroidal galaxies in the context of the size evolution of elliptical galaxies. The simulations are performed as a series of mergers with mass-ratios of 1:1 and 1:10 for models representing pure bulges as well as bulges embedded in dark matter halos. For major and minor mergers, respectively, we identify and analyze two different processes, violent relaxation and stripping, leading to size evolution and a change of the dark matter fraction within the observable effective radius. Read More

We study the growth of black holes (BHs) in galaxies using three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamic simulations with new implementations of the momentum mechanical feedback, and restriction of accreted elements to those that are gravitationally bound to the BH. We also include the feedback from the X-ray radiation emitted by the BH, which heats the surrounding gas in the host galaxies, and adds radial momentum to the fluid. We perform simulations of isolated galaxies and merging galaxies and test various feedback models with the new treatment of the Bondi radius criterion. Read More

We present a new method for incorporating nonthermal pressure from bulk motions of gas into an analytic model of the intracluster medium in clusters of galaxies, which is based on a polytropic equation of state and hydrostatic equilibrium inside gravitational potential wells drawn from cosmological dark matter simulations. The pressure is allowed to have thermal and nonthermal components with different radial distributions; the overall level of nonthermal support is based on the dynamical state of the halo, such that it is lower in more relaxed clusters. This level is normalized by comparison to pressure profiles derived from X-ray observations, and to a high resolution hydrodynamical simulation. Read More

We present a sample of nine high resolution cosmological simulations in the mass range of M_vir=7x10^11-4x10^12 M_sun starting from LambdaCDM initial conditions. Our simulations include primordial radiative cooling, photoionization, star formation, supernova II feedback, but exclude supernova driven winds and AGN feedback. The simulated galaxies assemble in two phases, with the initial growth dominated by compact (rRead More

We analyze 40 cosmological re-simulations of individual massive galaxies with present-day stellar masses of $M_{*} > 6.3 \times 10^{10} M_{\odot}$ in order to investigate the physical origin of the observed strong increase in galaxy sizes and the decrease of the stellar velocity dispersions since redshift $z \approx 2$. At present 25 out of 40 galaxies are quiescent with structural parameters (sizes and velocity dispersions) in agreement with local early type galaxies. Read More

In this Letter, we investigate the potential power of the Cosmic Mach Number (CMN), which is the ratio between the mean velocity and the velocity dispersion of galaxies as a function of cosmic scales, to constrain cosmologies. We first measure the CMN from 5 catalogues of galaxy peculiar velocity surveys at low redshift (0.002Read More

Hydrodynamic simulations of galaxies with active galactic nuclei (AGN) have typically employed feedback that is purely local: i.e., an injection of energy to the immediate neighborhood of the black hole. Read More

Cosmological simulations of galaxy formation appear to show a two-phase character with a rapid early phase at z>2 during which in-situ stars are formed within the galaxy from infalling cold gas followed by an extended phase since z<3 during which ex-situ stars are primarily accreted. In the latter phase massive systems grow considerably in mass and radius by accretion of smaller satellite stellar systems formed at quite early times (z>3) outside of the virial radius of the forming central galaxy. These tentative conclusions are obtained from high resolution re-simulations of 39 individual galaxies in a full cosmological context with present-day virial halo masses ranging from 7e11 M_sun h^-1 < M_vir < 2. Read More

We present templates for the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) angular power spectrum based on four models for the nonlinear gas distribution. The frequency-dependent SZ temperature fluctuations, with thermal (TSZ) and kinetic (KSZ) contributions, are calculated by tracing through a dark matter simulation, processed to include gas in dark matter halos and in the filamentary intergalactic medium. Different halo gas models are compared to study how star formation, energetic feedback, and nonthermal pressure support influence the angular power spectrum. Read More

The deposition of mechanical feedback from a supermassive black hole (SMBH) in an active galactic nucleus (AGN) into the surrounding galaxy occurs via broad-line winds which must carry mass and radial momentum as well as energy. The effect can be summarized by the dimensionless parameter $\eta=dot{M_outflow}/dot{M_accretion}= (2 \epsilon_w c^2)/v_w^2$ where ($\epslion_w \equiv dot{E}_w/(dot{M_accretion} c^2)$) is the efficiency by which accreted matter is turned into wind energy in the disc surrounding the central SMBH. The outflowing mass and omentum are proportional to $\eta$, and many prior treatments have essentially assumed that $\eta=0$. Read More

Affiliations: 1Princeton University, 2Princeton University and University of Cambridge, 3University of Bologna

We investigate how environmental effects by gas stripping alter the growth of a super massive black hole (SMBH) and its host galaxy evolution, by means of 1D hydrodynamical simulations that include both mechanical and radiative AGN feedback effects. By changing the truncation radius of the gas distribution (R_t), beyond which gas stripping is assumed to be effective, we simulate possible environments for satellite and central galaxies in galaxy clusters and groups. The continuous escape of gas outside the truncation radius strongly suppresses star formation, while the growth of the SMBH is less affected by gas stripping because the SMBH accretion is primarily ruled by the density of the central region. Read More

We examine two extreme models for the build-up of the stellar component of luminous elliptical galaxies. In one case, we assume the build-up of stars is dissipational, with centrally accreted gas radiating away its orbital and thermal energy; the dark matter halo will undergo adiabatic contraction and the central dark matter density profile will steepen. For the second model, we assume the central galaxy is assembled by a series of dissipationless mergers of stellar clumps that have formed far from the nascent galaxy. Read More

Affiliations: 1Princeton University, 2Princeton University, 3University Observatory Munich, 4University Observatory Munich

We find that the amount and nature of the assumed ionizing background can strongly affect galaxy formation and evolution. Galaxy evolution simulations typically incorporate an ultraviolet background which falls off rapidly above z=3; e.g. Read More

Affiliations: 1KIPAC/Stanford, 2Princeton, 3Princeton, 4Max Planck, Germany, 5U. of Miami, 6IPMU, Japan, 7Princeton, 8Harvard CfA

We create realistic, full-sky, half-arcminute resolution simulations of the microwave sky matched to the most recent astrophysical observations. The primary purpose of these simulations is to test the data reduction pipeline for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) experiment; however, we have widened the frequency coverage beyond the ACT bands to make these simulations applicable to other microwave background experiments. Some of the novel features of these simulations are that the radio and infrared galaxy populations are correlated with the galaxy cluster populations, the CMB is lensed by the dark matter structure in the simulation via a ray-tracing code, the contribution to the thermal and kinetic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) signals from galaxy clusters, groups, and the IGM has been included, and the gas prescription to model the SZ signals matches the most recent X-ray observations. Read More

Affiliations: 1Princeton University, 2Princeton University and University of Cambridge, 3University of Bologna

By using high-resolution 1D hydrodynamical simulations, we investigate the effects of purely mechanical feedback from super massive black holes (SMBHs) in the evolution of elliptical galaxies for a broad range of feedback efficiencies and compare the results to four major observational constraints. In particular, we focus on 1) the central black hole to stellar mass ratio of the host galaxy, 2) the lifetime of the luminous quasar phase, 3) the mass of stars formed in the host galaxy within the last Gyr, and 4) the X-ray luminosity of the hot diffuse gas. As a result, we try to pin down the most successful range of mechanical feedback efficiencies. Read More

The state of the hot gas in clusters of galaxies is investigated with a set of model clusters, created by assuming a polytropic equation of state (Gamma=1.2) and hydrostatic equilibrium inside gravitational potential wells drawn from a dark matter simulation. Star formation, energy input, and nonthermal pressure support are included. Read More

Affiliations: 1Princeton University Observatory, 2Princeton University Observatory, 3Michigan

A novel statistic is proposed to examine the hypothesis that all cluster galaxies are drawn from the same luminosity distribution (LD). In such a "statistical model" of galaxy LD, the brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) are simply the statistical extreme of the galaxy population. Using a large sample of nearby clusters, we show that BCGs in high luminosity clusters (e. Read More

We study the thermal formation history of four simulated galaxies that were shown in Naab et al. (2007) to reproduce a number of observed properties of elliptical galaxies. The temperature of the gas in the galaxies is steadily increasing with decreasing redshift, although much of the gas has a cooling time shorter than the Hubble time. Read More

Using a high resolution hydrodynamical cosmological simulation of the formation of a massive spheroidal galaxy we show that elliptical galaxies can be very compact and massive at high redshift in agreement with recent observations. Accretion of stripped in-falling stellar material increases the size of the system with time and the central concentration is reduced by dynamical friction of the surviving stellar cores. In a specific case of a spheroidal galaxy with a final stellar mass of $1. Read More


The hot accretion flow is usually optically thin in the radial direction, therefore the photons produced at one radius can travel for a long distance without being absorbed. These photons thus can heat or cool electrons at other radii via Compton scattering. This effect has been ignored in most previous works on hot accretion flows and is the focus of this paper. Read More

A variety of physical heating mechanisms are combined with radiative cooling to explore, via one dimensional hydrodynamic simulations, the expected thermal properties of the intracluster medium (ICM) in the context of the cooling flow problem. Energy injection from type Ia supernovae, thermal conduction, and dynamical friction (DF) from orbiting satellite galaxies are considered. The novel feature of this work is the exploration of a wide range of efficiencies of each heating process. Read More