Body Simulations (body + simulation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Precision cosmology with voids: definition, methods, dynamics

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2010
Guilhem Lavaux
ABSTRACT We propose a new definition of cosmic voids based on methods of Lagrangian orbit reconstruction as well as an algorithm to find them in actual data called DynamIcal Void Analysis. Our technique is intended to yield results which can be modelled sufficiently accurately to create a new probe of precision cosmology. We then develop an analytical model of the ellipticity of voids found by our method based on the Zel'dovich approximation. We measure in N -body simulation that this model is precise at the ,0.1 per cent level for the mean ellipticity of voids of size greater than ,4 h,1 Mpc. We estimate that at this scale we are able to predict the ellipticity with an accuracy of ,,, 0.02. Finally, we compare the distribution of void shapes in N -body simulation for two different equations of state w of the dark energy. We conclude that our method is far more accurate than Eulerian methods and is therefore promising as a precision probe of dark energy phenomenology. [source]


The distribution of ejected subhaloes and its implication for halo assembly bias

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2009
Huiyuan Wang
ABSTRACT Using a high-resolution cosmological N -body simulation, we identify the ejected population of subhaloes, which are haloes at redshift z= 0 but were once contained in more massive ,host' haloes at high redshifts. The fraction of the ejected subhaloes in the total halo population of the same mass ranges from 9 to 4 per cent for halo masses from ,1011 to ,1012 h,1 M,. Most of the ejected subhaloes are distributed within four times the virial radius of their hosts. These ejected subhaloes have distinct velocity distribution around their hosts in comparison to normal haloes. The number of subhaloes ejected from a host of given mass increases with the assembly redshift of the host. Ejected subhaloes in general reside in high-density regions, and have a much higher bias parameter than normal haloes of the same mass. They also have earlier assembly times, so that they contribute to the assembly bias of dark matter haloes seen in cosmological simulations. However, the assembly bias is not dominated by the ejected population, indicating that large-scale environmental effects on normal haloes are the main source for the assembly bias. [source]


Halo stochasticity in global clustering analysis

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2009
S. Bonoli
ABSTRACT Galaxy clustering and cosmic magnification can be used to estimate the dark matter power spectrum if the theoretical relation between the distribution of galaxies and the distribution of dark matter is precisely known. In the present work, we study the statistics of haloes, which in the halo model determines the distribution of galaxies. Haloes are known to be biased tracer of dark matter, and at large scales it is usually assumed there is no intrinsic stochasticity between the two field (i.e. r= 1). Following the work of Seljak & Warren, we explore how correct this assumption is and, moving a step further, we try to qualify the nature of stochasticity. We use principal component analysis applied to the outputs of a cosmological N -body simulation as a function of mass to: (i) explore the behaviour of stochasticity in the correlation between haloes of different masses; and (ii) explore the behaviour of stochasticity in the correlation between haloes and dark matter. We show results obtained using a catalogue with 2.1 million haloes, from a pmfast simulation with box size of 1000 h,1 Mpc and with about four billion particles. In the relation between different populations of haloes, we find that stochasticity is not negligible even at large scales. In agreement with the conclusions of Tegmark & Bromley, who studied the correlations of different galaxy populations, we found that the shot noise subtracted stochasticity is qualitatively different from ,enhanced' shot noise and, specifically, it is dominated by a single stochastic eigenvalue. We call this the ,minimally stochastic' scenario, as opposed to shot noise-like stochasticity which is ,maximally stochastic'. In the correlation between haloes and dark matter, we find that the stochasticity is minimized, as expected, near the dark matter peak (k, 0.02 h Mpc,1 for a , cold dark matter cosmology), and, even at large scales, it is of the order of 15 per cent above the shot noise. Moreover, we find that the reconstruction of the dark matter distribution is improved when we use the principal component eigenvectors as tracers of the bias, but still the reconstruction is not perfect, due to stochasticity. [source]


Generating dark matter halo merger trees

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2008
Hannah Parkinson
ABSTRACT We present a new Monte Carlo algorithm to generate merger trees describing the formation history of dark matter haloes. The algorithm is a modification of the algorithm of Cole et al. used in the galform semi-analytic galaxy formation model. As such, it is based on the Extended Press,Schechter theory and so should be applicable to hierarchical models with a wide range of power spectra and cosmological models. It is tuned to be in accurate agreement with the conditional mass functions found in the analysis of merger trees extracted from the , cold dark matter Millennium N -body simulation. We present a comparison of its predictions not only with these conditional mass functions, but also with additional statistics of the Millennium Simulation halo merger histories. In all cases, we find it to be in good agreement with the Millennium Simulation and thus it should prove to be a very useful tool for semi-analytic models of galaxy formation and for modelling hierarchical structure formation in general. We have made our merger tree generation code and code to navigate the trees available at http://star-www.dur.ac.uk/~cole/merger_trees. [source]


Mass modelling of dwarf spheroidal galaxies: the effect of unbound stars from tidal tails and the Milky Way

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2007
Jaros, aw Klimentowski
ABSTRACT We study the origin and properties of the population of unbound stars in the kinematic samples of dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies. For this purpose we have run a high-resolution N -body simulation of a two-component dwarf galaxy orbiting in a Milky Way potential. In agreement with the tidal stirring scenario of Mayer et al., the dwarf is placed on a highly eccentric orbit, its initial stellar component is in the form of an exponential disc and it has a NFW-like dark matter (DM) halo. After 10 Gyr of evolution the dwarf produces a spheroidal stellar component and is strongly tidally stripped so that mass follows light and the stars are on almost isotropic orbits. From this final state, we create mock kinematic data sets for 200 stars by observing the dwarf in different directions. We find that when the dwarf is observed along the tidal tails the kinematic samples are strongly contaminated by unbound stars from the tails. We also study another source of possible contamination by adding stars from the Milky Way. We demonstrate that most of the unbound stars can be removed by the method of interloper rejection proposed by den Hartog & Katgert and recently tested on simulated DM haloes. We model the cleaned-up kinematic samples using solutions of the Jeans equation with constant mass-to-light ratio (M/L) and velocity anisotropy parameter. We show that even for such a strongly stripped dwarf the Jeans analysis, when applied to cleaned samples, allows us to reproduce the mass and M/L of the dwarf with accuracy typically better than 25 per cent and almost exactly in the case when the line of sight is perpendicular to the tidal tails. The analysis was applied to the new data for the Fornax dSph galaxy. We show that after careful removal of interlopers the velocity dispersion profile of Fornax can be reproduced by a model in which mass traces light with a M/L of 11 solar units and isotropic orbits. We demonstrate that most of the contamination in the kinematic sample of Fornax probably originates from the Milky Way. [source]


Cold dark matter microhalo survival in the Milky Way

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2007
G. W. Angus
ABSTRACT A special purpose N -body simulation has been built to understand the tidal heating of the smallest dark matter substructures (10,6 M, and 0.01 pc) from the grainy potential of the Milky Way due to individual stars in the disc and the bulge. To test the method, we first run simulations of single encounters of microhaloes with an isolated star, and compare with analytical predictions of the dark particle bound fraction as a function of impact parameter. We then follow the orbits of a set of microhaloes in a realistic flattened Milky Way potential. We concentrate on (detectable) microhaloes passing near the Sun with a range of pericentre and apocentre. Stellar perturbers near the orbital path of a microhalo would exert stochastic impulses, which we apply in a Monte Carlo fashion according to the Besanšon model for the distribution of stars of different masses and ages in our Galaxy. Also incorporated are the usual pericentre tidal heating and disc shocking. We give a detailed diagnosis of typical microhaloes and find microhaloes with internal tangential anisotropy are slightly more robust than the ones with radial anisotropy. In addition, the dark particles generally go through of a random walk in velocity space and diffuse out of the microhaloes. We show that the typical destruction time-scales are strongly correlated with the stellar density averaged along a microhalo's orbit over the age of the stellar disc. We also present the morphology of a microhalo at several epochs which may hold the key to dark matter detections. We checked our results against different choices of microhalo mass, virial radius and anisotropy. [source]


Invariant manifolds, phase correlations of chaotic orbits and the spiral structure of galaxies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2006
N. Voglis
ABSTRACT In the presence of a strong m= 2 component in a rotating galaxy, the phase-space structure near corotation is shaped to a large extent by the invariant manifolds of the short-period family of unstable periodic orbits terminating at L1 or L2. The main effect of these manifolds is to create robust phase correlations among a number of chaotic orbits large enough to support a spiral density wave outside corotation. The phenomenon is described theoretically by soliton-like solutions of a Sine,Gordon equation. Numerical examples are given in an N -body simulation of a barred spiral galaxy. In these examples, we demonstrate how the projection of unstable manifolds in configuration space reproduces essentially the entire observed bar,spiral pattern. [source]


Simulations of strong gravitational lensing with substructure

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2006
Adam Amara
ABSTRACT Galactic-sized gravitational lenses are simulated by combining a cosmological N -body simulation and models for the baryonic component of the galaxy. The lens caustics, critical curves, image locations and magnification ratios are calculated by ray shooting on an adaptive grid. When the source is near a cusp in a smooth lens' caustic, the sum of the magnifications of the three closest images should be close to zero. It is found that in the observed cases this sum is generally too large to be consistent with the simulations, implying that there is not enough substructure in the simulations. This suggests that other factors play an important role. These may include limited numerical resolution, lensing by structure outside the halo, selection bias and the possibility that a randomly selected galaxy halo may be more irregular, for example, due to recent mergers, than the isolated halo used in this study. It is also shown that, with the level of substructure computed from the N -body simulations, the image magnifications of the Einstein cross-type lenses are very weak functions of source size up to 1 kpc. This is also true for the magnification ratios of widely separated images in the fold and cusp,caustic lenses. This means that selected magnification ratios for the different emission regions of a lensed quasar should agree with each other, barring microlensing by stars. The source size dependence of the magnification ratio between the closest pair of images is more sensitive to substructure. [source]


Testing linear-theory predictions of galaxy formation

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2000
Ben Sugerman
The angular momentum of galaxies is routinely ascribed to a process of tidal torques acting during the early stages of gravitational collapse, and is predicted from the initial mass distribution using second-order perturbation theory and the Zel'dovich approximation. We test this theory for a flat hierarchical cosmogony using a large N -body simulation with sufficient dynamic range to include tidal fields, allow resolution of individual galaxies, and thereby expand on previous studies. The predictions of linear collapse, linear tidal torque, and biased-peaks galaxy formation are applied to the initial conditions and compared with results for evolved bound objects. We find relatively good correlation between the predictions of linear theory and actual galaxy evolution. Collapse is well described by an ellipsoidal model within a shear field, which results primarily in triaxial objects that do not map directly to the initial density field. While structure formation from early times is a complex history of hierarchical merging, salient features are well described by the simple spherical-collapse model. Most notably, we test several methods for determining the turnaround epoch, and find that turnaround is successfully described by the spherical-collapse model. The angular momentum of collapsing structures grows linearly until turnaround, as predicted, and continues quasi-linearly until shell crossing. The predicted angular momentum for well-resolved galaxies at turnaround overestimates the true turnaround and final values by a factor of ,3, with a scatter of ,70 per cent, and only marginally yields the correct direction of the angular momentum vector. We recover the prediction that final angular momentum scales as mass to the 5/3 power. We find that mass and angular momentum also vary proportionally with peak height. In view of the fact that the observed galaxy collapse is a stochastic hierarchical and non-linear process, it is encouraging that the linear theory can serve as an effective predictive and analytic tool. [source]


Do mergers spin-up dark matter haloes?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY: LETTERS (ELECTRONIC), Issue 1 2007
Elena D'Onghia
ABSTRACT We use a large cosmological N -body simulation to study the origin of possible correlations between the merging history and spin of cold dark matter haloes. In particular, we examine claims that remnants of major mergers tend to have higher-than-average spins, and find that the effect is driven largely by unrelaxed systems: equilibrium dark matter haloes show no significant correlation between spin and merging history. Out-of-equilibrium haloes have, on average, higher spin than relaxed systems, suggesting that the virialization process leads to a net decrease in the value of the spin parameter. We find that this decrease is due to the internal redistribution of mass and angular momentum that occurs during virialization. This process is especially efficient during major mergers, when high angular momentum material is pushed beyond the virial radius of the remnant. Because such redistribution likely affects the angular momentum of baryons and dark matter unevenly, our findings question the common practice of identifying the specific angular momentum content of a halo with that of its embedded luminous component. Further work is needed to elucidate the true relation between the angular momentum content of baryons and dark matter in galaxy systems assembled hierarchically. [source]


Status and future of MUSE

ASTRONOMISCHE NACHRICHTEN, Issue 9-10 2008
S. Harfst
Abstract We present MUSE, a software framework for combining existing computational tools from different astrophysical domains into a single multi-physics, multi-scale application. MUSE facilitates the coupling of existing codes written in different languages by providing inter-language tools and by specifying an interface between each module and the framework that represents a balance between generality and computational efficiency. This approach allows scientists to use combinations of codes to solve highly-coupled problems without the need to write new codes for other domains or significantly alter their existing codes. MUSE currently incorporates the domains of stellar dynamics, stellar evolution and stellar hydrodynamics for studying generalized stellar systems. We have now reached a "Noah's Ark" milestone, with (at least) two available numerical solvers for each domain. MUSE can treat multi-scale and multi-physics systems in which the time- and size-scales are well separated, like simulating the evolution of planetary systems, small stellar associations, dense stellar clusters, galaxies and galactic nuclei. In this paper we describe two examples calculated using MUSE: the merger of two galaxies and an N -body simulation with live stellar evolution. In addition, we demonstrate an implementation of MUSE on a distributed computer which may also include special-purpose hardware, such as GRAPEs or GPUs, to accelerate computations. The current MUSE code base is publicly available as open source at http://muse.li. (ę 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]


Enhancing Bounding Volumes using Support Plane Mappings for Collision Detection

COMPUTER GRAPHICS FORUM, Issue 5 2010
Athanasios Vogiannou
Abstract In this paper we present a new method for improving the performance of the widely used Bounding Volume Hierarchies for collision detection. The major contribution of our work is a culling algorithm that serves as a generalization of the Separating Axis Theorem for non parallel axes, based on the well-known concept of support planes. We also provide a rigorous definition of support plane mappings and implementation details regarding the application of the proposed method to commonly used bounding volumes. The paper describes the theoretical foundation and an overall evaluation of the proposed algorithm. It demonstrates its high culling efficiency and in its application, significant improvement of timing performance with different types of bounding volumes and support plane mappings for rigid body simulations. [source]


Tactics-Based Behavioural Planning for Goal-Driven Rigid Body Control

COMPUTER GRAPHICS FORUM, Issue 8 2009
Stefan Zickler
Computer Graphics [I.3.7]: Animation-Artificial Intelligence; [I.2.8]: Plan execution, formation, and generation; Computer Graphics [I.3.5]: Physically based modelling Abstract Controlling rigid body dynamic simulations can pose a difficult challenge when constraints exist on the bodies' goal states and the sequence of intermediate states in the resulting animation. Manually adjusting individual rigid body control actions (forces and torques) can become a very labour-intensive and non-trivial task, especially if the domain includes a large number of bodies or if it requires complicated chains of inter-body collisions to achieve the desired goal state. Furthermore, there are some interactive applications that rely on rigid body models where no control guidance by a human animator can be offered at runtime, such as video games. In this work, we present techniques to automatically generate intelligent control actions for rigid body simulations. We introduce sampling-based motion planning methods that allow us to model goal-driven behaviour through the use of non-deterministic,Tactics,that consist of intelligent, sampling-based control-blocks, called,Skills. We introduce and compare two variations of a Tactics-driven planning algorithm, namely behavioural Kinodynamic Rapidly Exploring Random Trees (BK-RRT) and Behavioural Kinodynamic Balanced Growth Trees (BK-BGT). We show how our planner can be applied to automatically compute the control sequences for challenging physics-based domains and that is scalable to solve control problems involving several hundred interacting bodies, each carrying unique goal constraints. [source]


Abundances, masses and weak-lensing mass profiles of galaxy clusters as a function of richness and luminosity in ,CDM cosmologies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2010
Stefan Hilbert
ABSTRACT We test the concordance , cold dark matter (,CDM) cosmology by comparing predictions for the mean properties of galaxy clusters to observations. We use high-resolution N -body simulations of cosmic structure formation and semi-analytic models of galaxy formation to compute the abundance, mean density profile and mass of galaxy clusters as a function of richness and luminosity, and we compare these predictions to observations of clusters in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) maxBCG catalogue. We discuss the scatter in the mass,richness relation, the reconstruction of the cluster mass function from the mass,richness relation and fits to the weak-lensing cluster mass profiles. The impact of cosmological parameters on the predictions is investigated by comparing results from galaxy models based on the Millennium Simulation (MS) and the WMAP1 simulation to those from the WMAP3 simulation. We find that the simulated weak-lensing mass profiles and the observed profiles of the SDSS maxBCG clusters agree well in shape and amplitude. The mass,richness relations in the simulations are close to the observed relation, with differences ,30 per cent. The MS and WMAP1 simulations yield cluster abundances similar to those observed, whereas abundances in the WMAP3 simulation are two to three times lower. The differences in cluster abundance, mass and density amplitude between the simulations and the observations can be attributed to differences in the underlying cosmological parameters, in particular the power spectrum normalization ,8. Better agreement between predictions and observations should be reached with a normalization 0.722 < ,8 < 0.9 (probably closer to the upper value), i.e. between the values underlying the two simulation sets. [source]


Hydrodynamical N -body simulations of coupled dark energy cosmologies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2010
Marco Baldi
ABSTRACT If the accelerated expansion of the Universe at the present epoch is driven by a dark energy scalar field, there may well be a non-trivial coupling between the dark energy and the cold dark matter (CDM) fluid. Such interactions give rise to new features in cosmological structure growth, like an additional long-range attractive force between CDM particles, or variations of the dark matter particle mass with time. We have implemented these effects in the N -body code gadget-2 and present results of a series of high-resolution N -body simulations where the dark energy component is directly interacting with the CDM. As a consequence of the new physics, CDM and baryon distributions evolve differently both in the linear and in the non-linear regime of structure formation. Already on large scales, a linear bias develops between these two components, which is further enhanced by the non-linear evolution. We also find, in contrast with previous work, that the density profiles of CDM haloes are less concentrated in coupled dark energy cosmologies compared with ,CDM, and that this feature does not depend on the initial conditions setup, but is a specific consequence of the extra physics induced by the coupling. Also, the baryon fraction in haloes in the coupled models is significantly reduced below the universal baryon fraction. These features alleviate tensions between observations and the ,CDM model on small scales. Our methodology is ideally suited to explore the predictions of coupled dark energy models in the fully non-linear regime, which can provide powerful constraints for the viable parameter space of such scenarios. [source]


Cosmology and cluster halo scaling relations

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2009
Pablo A. Araya-Melo
ABSTRACT We explore the effects of dark matter and dark energy on the dynamical scaling properties of galaxy clusters. We investigate the cluster Faber,Jackson (FJ), Kormendy and Fundamental Plane (FP) relations between the mass, radius and velocity dispersion of cluster-sized haloes in cosmological N -body simulations. The simulations span a wide range of cosmological parameters, representing open, flat and closed Universes. Independently of the cosmology, we find that the simulated clusters are close to a perfect virial state and do indeed define an FP. The fitted parameters of the FJ, Kormendy and FP relationships do not show any significant dependence on ,m and/or ,,. One outstanding effect is the influence of ,m on the thickness of the FP. Following the time evolution of our models, we find slight changes of FJ and Kormendy parameters in high-,m universe, along with a slight decrease of FP fitting parameters. We also see an initial increase of the FP thickness followed by a convergence to a nearly constant value. The epoch of convergence is later for higher values of ,m, while the thickness remains constant in the low- ,m , models. We also find a continuous increase of the FP thickness in the standard cold dark matter cosmology. There is no evidence that these differences are due to the different power spectrum slopes at cluster scales. From the point of view of the FP, there is little difference between clusters that quietly accreted their mass and those that underwent massive mergers. The principal effect of strong mergers is to significantly change the ratio of the half-mass radius rhalf to the harmonic mean radius rh. [source]


Quantitative analysis of clumps in the tidal tails of star clusters

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2009
A. Just
ABSTRACT Tidal tails of star clusters are not homogeneous but show well-defined clumps in observations as well as in numerical simulations. Recently, an epicyclic theory for the formation of these clumps was presented. A quantitative analysis was still missing. We present a quantitative derivation of the angular momentum and energy distribution of escaping stars from a star cluster in the tidal field of the Milky Way and derive the connection to the position and width of the clumps. For the numerical realization we use star-by-star N -body simulations. We find a very good agreement of theory and models. We show that the radial offset of the tidal arms scales with the tidal radius, which is a function of cluster mass and the rotation curve at the cluster orbit. The mean radial offset is 2.77 times the tidal radius in the outer disc. Near the Galactic Centre the circumstances are more complicated, but to lowest order the theory still applies. We have also measured the Jacobi energy distribution of bound stars and showed that there is a large fraction of stars (about 35 per cent) above the critical Jacobi energy at all times, which can potentially leave the cluster. This is a hint that the mass loss is dominated by a self-regulating process of increasing Jacobi energy due to the weakening of the potential well of the star cluster, which is induced by the mass loss itself. [source]


What is the largest Einstein radius in the universe?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2009
Masamune Oguri
ABSTRACT The Einstein radius plays a central role in lens studies as it characterizes the strength of gravitational lensing. In particular, the distribution of Einstein radii near the upper cut-off should probe the probability distribution of the largest mass concentrations in the universe. Adopting a triaxial halo model, we compute expected distributions of large Einstein radii. To assess the cosmic variance, we generate a number of Monte Carlo realizations of all-sky catalogues of massive clusters. We find that the expected largest Einstein radius in the universe is sensitive to parameters characterizing the cosmological model, especially ,8: for a source redshift of unity, they are 42+9,7, 35+8,6 and 54+12,7 arcsec (errors denote 1, cosmic variance), assuming best-fitting cosmological parameters of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe five-year (WMAP5), three-year (WMAP3) and one-year (WMAP1) data, respectively. These values are broadly consistent with current observations given their incompleteness. The mass of the largest lens cluster can be as small as , 1015 M,. For the same source redshift, we expect in all sky ,35 (WMAP5), ,15 (WMAP3) and ,150 (WMAP1) clusters that have Einstein radii larger than 20 arcsec. For a larger source redshift of 7, the largest Einstein radii grow approximately twice as large. Whilst the values of the largest Einstein radii are almost unaffected by the level of the primordial non-Gaussianity currently of interest, the measurement of the abundance of moderately large lens clusters should probe non-Gaussianity competitively with cosmic microwave background experiments, but only if other cosmological parameters are well measured. These semi-analytic predictions are based on a rather simple representation of clusters, and hence calibrating them with N -body simulations will help to improve the accuracy. We also find that these ,superlens' clusters constitute a highly biased population. For instance, a substantial fraction of these superlens clusters have major axes preferentially aligned with the line-of-sight. As a consequence, the projected mass distributions of the clusters are rounder by an ellipticity of ,0.2 and have , 40,60 per cent larger concentrations compared with typical clusters with similar redshifts and masses. We argue that the large concentration measured in A1689 is consistent with our model prediction at the 1.2, level. A combined analysis of several clusters will be needed to see whether or not the observed concentrations conflict with predictions of the flat ,-dominated cold dark matter model. [source]


A new perspective on the irregular satellites of Saturn , I. Dynamical and collisional history

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2008
D. Turrini
ABSTRACT The dynamical features of the irregular satellites of the giant planets argue against an in situ formation and are strongly suggestive of a capture origin. Since the last detailed investigations of their dynamics, the total number of satellites has doubled, increasing from 50 to 109, and almost tripled in the case of Saturn system. We have performed a new dynamical exploration of Saturn system to test whether the larger sample of bodies could improve our understanding of which dynamical features are primordial and which are the outcome of the secular evolution of the system. We have performed detailed N -body simulations using the best orbital data available and analysed the frequencies of motion to search for resonances and other possible perturbing effects. We took advantage of the hierarchical Jacobian symplectic algorithm to include in the dynamical model of the system also the gravitational effects of the two outermost massive satellites, Titan and Iapetus. Our results suggest that Saturn's irregular satellites have been significantly altered and shaped by the gravitational perturbations of Jupiter, Titan, Iapetus and the Sun and by the collisional sweeping effect of Phoebe. In particular, the effects on the dynamical evolution of the system of the two massive satellites appear to be non-negligible. Jupiter perturbs the satellites through its direct gravitational pull and, indirectly, via the effects of the Great Inequality, i.e. its near-resonance with Saturn. Finally, by using the hierarchical clustering method we found hints to the existence of collisional families and compared them with the available observational data. [source]


The tightening of wide binaries in dSph galaxies through dynamical friction as a test of the dark matter hypothesis

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2008
X. Hernandez
ABSTRACT We estimate the time-scales for orbital decay of wide binaries embedded within dark matter haloes, due to dynamical friction against the dark matter particles. We derive analytical scalings for this decay and calibrate and test them through the extensive use of N -body simulations, which accurately confirm the predicted temporal evolution. For density and velocity dispersion parameters as inferred for the dark matter haloes of local dSph galaxies, we show that the decay time-scales become shorter than the ages of the dSph stellar populations for binary stars composed of 1 M, stars, for initial separations larger than 0.1 pc. Such wide binaries are conspicuous and have been well measured in the solar neighbourhood. The prediction of the dark matter hypothesis is that they should now be absent from stellar populations embedded within low velocity dispersion, high-density dark mater haloes, as currently inferred for the local dSph galaxies, having since evolved into tighter binaries. Relevant empirical determinations of this will become technically feasible in the near future, and could provide evidence to discriminate between dark matter particle haloes or modified gravitational theories, to account for the high dispersion velocities measured for stars in local dSph galaxies. [source]


Tracing intermediate-mass black holes in the Galactic Centre

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2008
U. L÷ckmann
ABSTRACT We have developed a new method for post-Newtonian, high-precision integration of stellar systems containing a super-massive black hole (SMBH), splitting the forces on a particle between a dominant central force and perturbations. We used this method to perform fully collisional N -body simulations of inspiralling intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) in the centre of the Milky Way. We considered stellar cusps of different power-law indices and analysed the effects of IMBHs of different masses, all starting from circular orbits at an initial distance of 0.1 pc. Our simulations show how IMBHs deplete the central cusp of stars, leaving behind a flatter cusp with slope consistent with what has recently been observed. If an additional IMBH spirals into such a flat cusp, it can take 50 Myr or longer to merge with the central SMBH, thus allowing for direct observation in the near future. The final merger of the two black holes involves gravitational wave radiation which may be observable with planned gravitational wave detectors. Furthermore, our simulations reveal detailed properties of the hypervelocity stars (HVSs) created, and how generations of HVSs can be used to trace IMBHs in the Galactic Centre. We find that significant rotation of HVSs (which would be evidence for an IMBH) can only be expected among very fast stars (v > 1000 km s,1). Also, the probability of creating a hypervelocity binary star is found to be very small. [source]


Comparative study between N -body and Fokker,Planck simulations for rotating star clusters , I. Equal-mass system

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2008
Eunhyeuk Kim
ABSTRACT We have carried out N -body simulations for rotating star clusters with equal mass and compared the results with Fokker,Planck models. These two different approaches are found to produce fairly similar results, although there are some differences with regard to the detailed aspects. We confirmed the acceleration of the core collapse of a cluster due to an initial non-zero angular momentum and found a similar evolutionary trend in the central density and velocity dispersion in both simulations. The degree of acceleration depends on the initial angular momentum. Angular momentum is being lost from the cluster due to the evaporation of stars with a large angular momentum on a relaxation time-scale. [source]


Environments of z > 5 quasars: searching for protoclusters at submillimetre wavelengths

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2008
R. S. Priddey
ABSTRACT We present submillimetre (submm) continuum images of the fields of three luminous quasars at z > 5, obtained at 850 and 450 ,m using the Submillimetre Common-User Bolometer Array on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). N -body simulations predict that such quasars evolve to become the central dominant galaxies of massive clusters at z= 0, but at z= 5,6 they are actively forming stars and surrounded by a rich protofilamentary structure of young galaxies. Our purpose in taking these images was to search for other luminous, star-forming galaxies in the vicinity of the signpost active galactic nuclei and thus associated with such a protocluster. Two of the quasar host galaxies are luminous submm galaxies (SMGs) in their own right, implying star formation rates ,103 M, yr,1. Despite the coarse 850-,m beam of the JCMT, our images show evidence of extended emission on a scale of ,100 kpc from at least one quasar , indicative of a partially resolved merger or a colossal host galaxy. In addition, at >3, significance we detect 12 (5) SMGs at 850 ,m (450 ,m) in the surrounding fields. Number counts of these SMGs are comparable with those detected in the fields of z, 4 radio galaxies, and both samples are, at the bright end, overabundant by a factor of ,4 relative to blank-field submm surveys. Whilst the redshift-sensitive 850 ,m/450 ,m and 850 ,m/1.4 GHz flux density ratios indicate that some of these SMGs are likely foreground objects, the counts suggest that ,60 per cent lie in the same large-scale structures as the quasars. [source]


Probing galactic dark matter in dense environments: on the strong lensing efficiency of galaxies in rich clusters

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2007
Lindsay J. King
ABSTRACT The recent detection by Limousin et al. of five new strong lensing events dominated by galaxy cluster members in Abell 1689, and outside the critical regime of the cluster itself, offers a way to obtain constraints on the cluster mass distribution in a region inaccessible to standard lensing analysis. In addition, modelling such systems will provide another window on the dark matter haloes of galaxies in very dense environments. Here, it is shown that the boost in image separation due to the external shear and convergence from a smooth cluster component means that more numerous, less massive galaxies have the potential to create multiple images with detectable separations, relative to isolated field galaxies. This comes in addition to a potential increase in their lensing (source plane) cross-section. To gain insight into the factors involved and as a precursor to a numerical study using N -body simulations, a simple analytic model of a cluster at z= 0.3 lensing background galaxies at z= 2 is considered here. The fiducial model has cluster members with isothermal density profiles and luminosities L, distributed in a Schechter function (faint-end slope ,=,1.25), related to their velocity dispersions , via the Faber,Jackson scaling L,,4. Just outside the critical regime of the cluster, the scale of galaxy-dominated image separations is significantly increased. Folding in the fact that less massive galaxies present a lower lensing cross-section, and that the cross-section can itself be enhanced in an external field leads to a factor of a few times more detected events relative to field galaxies. These values will be higher closer to the critical curve. Given that the events in Abell 1689 were detected over a very small region of the cluster where ACS data were available, this motivates the search for such events in other clusters. [source]


Global lopsided instability in a purely stellar galactic disc

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2007
Kanak Saha
ABSTRACT It is shown that pure exponential discs in spiral galaxies are capable of supporting slowly varying discrete global lopsided modes, which can explain the observed features of lopsidedness in the stellar discs. Using linearized fluid dynamical equations with the softened self-gravity and pressure of the perturbation as the collective effect, we derive self-consistently a quadratic eigenvalue equation for the lopsided perturbation in the galactic disc. On solving this, we find that the ground-state mode shows the observed characteristics of the lopsidedness in a galactic disc, namely the fractional Fourier amplitude A1, increases smoothly with the radius. These lopsided patterns precess in the disc with a very slow pattern speed with no preferred sense of precession. We show that the lopsided modes in the stellar disc are long-lived because of a substantial reduction (approximately a factor of 10 compared to the local free precession rate) in the differential precession. The numerical solution of the equations shows that the ground-state lopsided modes are either very slowly precessing stationary normal mode oscillations of the disc or growing modes with a slow growth rate depending on the relative importance of the collective effect of the self-gravity. N -body simulations are performed to test the spontaneous growth of lopsidedness in a pure stellar disc. Both approaches are then compared and interpreted in terms of long-lived global m= 1 instabilities, with almost zero pattern speed. [source]


A comprehensive set of simulations studying the influence of gas expulsion on star cluster evolution

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2007
H. Baumgardt
ABSTRACT We have carried out a large set of N -body simulations studying the effect of residual-gas expulsion on the survival rate, and final properties of star clusters. We have varied the star formation efficiency (SFE), gas expulsion time-scale and strength of the external tidal field, obtaining a three-dimensional grid of models which can be used to predict the evolution of individual star clusters or whole star cluster systems by interpolating between our runs. The complete data of these simulations are made available on the internet. Our simulations show that cluster sizes, bound mass fraction and velocity profile are strongly influenced by the details of the gas expulsion. Although star clusters can survive SFEs as low as 10 per cent if the tidal field is weak and the gas is removed only slowly, our simulations indicate that most star clusters are destroyed or suffer dramatic loss of stars during the gas removal phase. Surviving clusters have typically expanded by a factor of 3 or 4 due to gas removal, implying that star clusters formed more concentrated than as we see them today. Maximum expansion factors seen in our runs are around 10. If gas is removed on time-scales smaller than the initial crossing time, star clusters acquire strongly radially anisotropic velocity dispersions outside their half-mass radii. Observed velocity profiles of star clusters can therefore be used as a constraint on the physics of cluster formation. [source]


Tidal mass loss from collisionless systems

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2007
Marios Kampakoglou
ABSTRACT We examine the problem tidally induced mass loss from collisionless systems, such as dark matter haloes. We develop a model for tidal mass loss, based upon the phase-space distribution of particles, which accounts for how both tidal and Coriolis torques perturb the angular momentum of each particle in the system. This allows us to study how both the density profile and velocity anisotropy affect the degree of mass loss , we present basic results from such a study. Our model predicts that mass loss is a continuous process even in a static tidal field, a consequence of the fact that mass loss weakens the potential of the system making it easier for further mass loss to occur. We compare the predictions of our model with N -body simulations of idealized systems in order to check its validity. We find reasonable agreement with the N -body simulations except for in the case of very strong tidal fields, where our results suggest that a higher order perturbation analysis may be required. The continuous tidally induced mass loss predicted by our model can lead to substantial reduction in satellite mass in cases where the traditional treatment predicts no mass loss. As such, our results may have important consequences for the orbits and survival of low-mass satellites in dark matter haloes. [source]


The evolution of binary star clusters and the nature of NGC 2136/NGC 2137

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2007
S. F. Portegies Zwart
ABSTRACT We study the evolution of bound pairs of star clusters by means of direct N -body simulations. Our simulations include mass loss by stellar evolution. The initial conditions are selected to mimic the observed binary star clusters, NGC 2136 and 2137, in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Based on their rather old ages (,100 Myr), masses, sizes and projected separation, we conclude that the cluster pair must have been born with an initial separation of 15,20 pc. Clusters with a smaller initial separation tend to merge in ,60 Myr due to loss of angular momentum from escaping stars. Clusters with a larger initial separation tend to become even more widely separated due to mass loss from the evolving stellar populations. The early orbital evolution of a binary cluster is governed by mass loss from the evolving stellar population and by loss of angular momentum from escaping stars. Mass loss by stellar winds and supernovae explosions in the first ,30 Myr causes the binary to expand and the orbit to become eccentric. The initially less massive cluster expands more quickly than the binary separation increases, and is therefore bound to initiate mass transfer to the more massive cluster. This process is quite contrary to stellar binaries in which the more massive star tends to initiate mass transfer. Since mass transfer proceeds on a thermal time-scale from the less massive to the more massive cluster, this semidetached phase is quite stable, even in an eccentric orbit until the orbital separation reaches the gyration radius of the two clusters, at which point both clusters merge to one. [source]


The halo mass function from the dark ages through the present day

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2007
Darren S. Reed
ABSTRACT We use an array of high-resolution N -body simulations to determine the mass function of dark matter haloes at redshifts 10,30. We develop a new method for compensating for the effects of finite simulation volume that allows us to find an approximation to the true ,global' mass function. By simulating a wide range of volumes at different mass resolution, we calculate the abundance of haloes of mass 105,12 h,1 M,. This enables us to predict accurately the abundance of the haloes that host the sources that reionize the Universe. In particular, we focus on the small mass haloes (,105.5,6 h,1 M,) likely to harbour Population III stars where gas cools by molecular hydrogen emission, early galaxies in which baryons cool by atomic hydrogen emission at a virial temperature of ,104K (,107.5,8 h,1 M,), and massive galaxies that may be observable at redshift ,10. When we combine our data with simulations that include high-mass haloes at low redshift, we find that the best fit to the halo mass function depends not only on the linear overdensity, as is commonly assumed in analytic models, but also on the slope of the linear power spectrum at the scale of the halo mass. The Press,Schechter model gives a poor fit to the halo mass function in the simulations at all epochs; the Sheth-Tormen model gives a better match, but still overpredicts the abundance of rare objects at all times by up to 50 per cent. Finally, we consider the consequences of the recently released WMAP 3-yr cosmological parameters. These lead to much less structure at high redshift, reducing the number of z= 10,mini-haloes' by more than a factor of two and the number of z= 30 galaxy hosts by nearly four orders of magnitude. Code to generate our best-fitting halo mass function may be downloaded from http://icc.dur.ac.uk/Research/PublicDownloads/genmf_readme.html. [source]


Multidimensional density estimation and phase-space structure of dark matter haloes

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2006
Sanjib Sharma
ABSTRACT We present a method to numerically estimate the densities of a discretely sampled data based on a binary space partitioning tree. We start with a root node containing all the particles and then recursively divide each node into two nodes each containing roughly equal number of particles, until each of the nodes contains only one particle. The volume of such a leaf node provides an estimate of the local density and its shape provides an estimate of the variance. We implement an entropy-based node splitting criterion that results in a significant improvement in the estimation of densities compared to earlier work. The method is completely metric free and can be applied to arbitrary number of dimensions. We use this method to determine the appropriate metric at each point in space and then use kernel-based methods for calculating the density. The kernel-smoothed estimates were found to be more accurate and have lower dispersion. We apply this method to determine the phase-space densities of dark matter haloes obtained from cosmological N -body simulations. We find that contrary to earlier studies, the volume distribution function v(f) of phase-space density f does not have a constant slope but rather a small hump at high phase-space densities. We demonstrate that a model in which a halo is made up by a superposition of Hernquist spheres is not capable in explaining the shape of v(f) versus f relation, whereas a model which takes into account the contribution of the main halo separately roughly reproduces the behaviour as seen in simulations. The use of the presented method is not limited to calculation of phase-space densities, but can be used as a general purpose data-mining tool and due to its speed and accuracy it is ideally suited for analysis of large multidimensional data sets. [source]