Parameter tests within cosmological simulations of galaxy formation Academic Article uri icon

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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.


  • Kay, Scott T
  • Pearce, FR
  • Jenkins, A
  • Frenk, CS
  • White, SDM
  • Thomas, PA
  • Couchman, Hugh M

publication date

  • August 2000