Youcai Zhang - SHAO

Youcai Zhang
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Publications Authored By Youcai Zhang

The ELUCID project aims to build a series of realistic cosmological simulations that reproduce the spatial and mass distribution of the galaxies as observed in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). This requires powerful reconstruction techniques to create constrained initial conditions. We test the reconstruction method by applying it to several $N$-body simulations. Read More

Halo bias is the one of the key ingredients of the halo models. It was shown at a given redshift to be only dependent, to the first order, on the halo mass. In this study, four types of cosmic web environments: clusters, filaments, sheets and voids are defined within a state of the art high resolution $N$-body simulation. Read More

Using a method to correct redshift space distortion (RSD) for individual galaxies, we mapped the real space distributions of galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 (DR7). We use an ensemble of mock catalogs to demonstrate the reliability of our method. Here as the first paper in a series, we mainly focus on the two point correlation function (2PCF) of galaxies. Read More

A method we developed recently for the reconstruction of the initial density field in the nearby Universe is applied to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7. A high-resolution N-body constrained simulation (CS) of the reconstructed initial condition, with $3072^3$ particles evolved in a 500 Mpc/h box, is carried out and analyzed in terms of the statistical properties of the final density field and its relation with the distribution of SDSS galaxies. We find that the statistical properties of the cosmic web and the halo populations are accurately reproduced in the CS. Read More

A galaxy group catalog is constructed from the 2MASS Redshift Survey (2MRS) with the use of a halo-based group finder. The halo mass associated with a group is estimated using a `GAP' method based on the luminosity of the central galaxy and its gap with other member galaxies. Tests using mock samples shows that this method is reliable, particularly for poor systems containing only a few members. Read More

Based on the star formation histories (SFH) of galaxies in halos of different masses, we develop an empirical model to grow galaxies in dark mattet halos. This model has very few ingredients, any of which can be associated to observational data and thus be efficiently assessed. By applying this model to a very high resolution cosmological $N$-body simulation, we predict a number of galaxy properties that are a very good match to relevant observational data. Read More

Using a sample of spiral galaxies selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 (SDSS DR7) and Galaxy Zoo 2 (GZ2), we investigate the alignment of spin axes of spiral galaxies with their surrounding large scale structure, which is characterized by the large-scale tidal field reconstructed from the data using galaxy groups above a certain mass threshold. We find that the spin axes of only have weak tendency to be aligned with (or perpendicular to) the intermediate (or minor) axis of the local tidal tensor. The signal is the strongest in a \cluster environment where all the three eigenvalues of the local tidal tensor are positive. Read More

Major mergers and interactions between gas-rich galaxies with comparable masses are thought to be the main triggers of starburst. In this work, we study, for a large stellar mass range, the interaction rate of the starburst galaxies in the local universe. We focus independently on central and satellite star forming galaxies extracted from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Read More

Using a sample of galaxy groups selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 (SDSS DR7), we examine the alignment between the orientation of galaxies and their surrounding large scale structure in the context of the cosmic web. The latter is quantified using the large-scale tidal field, reconstructed from the data using galaxy groups above a certain mass threshold. We find that the major axes of galaxies in filaments tend to be preferentially aligned with the directions of the filaments, while galaxies in sheets have their major axes preferentially aligned parallel to the plane of the sheets. Read More

The statistics of dark matter halos is an essential component of understanding the nonlinear evolution in modified gravity cosmology. Based on a series of modified gravity N-body simulations, we investigate the halo mass function, concentration and bias. We model the impact of modified gravity by a single parameter \zeta, which determines the enhancement of particle acceleration with respect to GR, given the identical mass distribution (\zeta=1 in GR). Read More

We present a new model to describe the galaxy-dark matter connection across cosmic time, which unlike the popular subhalo abundance matching technique is self-consistent in that it takes account of the facts that (i) subhalos are accreted at different times, and (ii) the properties of satellite galaxies may evolve after accretion. Using observations of galaxy stellar mass functions out to $z \sim 4$, the conditional stellar mass function at $z\sim 0.1$ obtained from SDSS galaxy group catalogues, and the two-point correlation function (2PCF) of galaxies at $z \sim 0. Read More

The influence of a galaxy's environment on its evolution has been studied and compared extensively in the literature, although differing techniques are often used to define environment. Most methods fall into two broad groups: those that use nearest neighbours to probe the underlying density field and those that use fixed apertures. The differences between the two inhibit a clean comparison between analyses and leave open the possibility that, even with the same data, different properties are actually being measured. Read More

An analytical model is developed for the mass function of cold dark matter subhalos at the time of accretion and for the distribution of their accretion times. Our model is based on the model of Zhao et al. (2009) for the median assembly histories of dark matter halos, combined with a simple log-normal distribution to describe the scatter in the main-branch mass at a given time for halos of the same final mass. Read More

We study the topology of cosmic large-scale structure through the genus statistics, using galaxy catalogues generated from the Millennium Simulation and observational data from the latest Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release (SDSS DR7). We introduce a new method for constructing galaxy density fields and for measuring the genus statistics of its isodensity surfaces. It is based on a Delaunay tessellation field estimation (DTFE) technique that allows the definition of a piece-wise continuous density field and the exact computation of the topology of its polygonal isodensity contours, without introducing any free numerical parameter. Read More

Clusters, filaments, sheets and voids are the building blocks of the cosmic web. In this study, we present and compare two distinct algorithms for finding cosmic filaments and sheets, a task which is far less well established than the identification of dark matter halos or voids. One method is based on the smoothed dark matter density field, the other uses the halo distributions directly. Read More