Parameter tests within cosmological simulations of galaxy formation
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Numerical simulations of galaxy formation require a number of parameters.
Some of these are intrinsic to the numerical integration scheme (eg the
timestep), while others describe the physical model (eg the gas metallicity).
In this paper, we present results of a systematic exploration of the effects of
varying a subset of these parameters on simulations of galaxy formation. We use
N-body and ``Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics'' techniques to follow the
evolution of cold dark matter and gas in a small volume. We compare a fiducial
model to 24 different simulations, in which one parameter at a time is varied,
focussing on properties such as the relative fraction of hot and cold gas, and
the abundance and masses of galaxies. We find that for reasonable choices of
numerical values, many parameters have relatively little effect on the
galaxies, with the notable exception of the parameters that control the
resolution of the simulation and the efficiency with which gas cools.
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