Forming disc galaxies in  CDM simulations Academic Article uri icon

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  • We used fully cosmological, high resolution N-body + SPH simulations to follow the formation of disk galaxies with rotational velocities between 135 and 270 km/sec in a Lambda CDM universe. The simulations include gas cooling, star formation, the effects of a uniform UV background and a physically motivated description of feedback from supernovae. The host dark matter halos have a spin and last major merger redshift typical of galaxy sized halos as measured in recent large scale N--Body simulations. The simulated galaxies form rotationally supported disks with realistic exponential scale lengths and fall on both the I-band and baryonic Tully Fisher relations. An extended stellar disk forms inside the Milky Way sized halo immediately after the last major merger. The combination of UV background and SN feedback drastically reduces the number of visible satellites orbiting inside a Milky Way sized halo, bringing it in fair agreement with observations. Our simulations predict that the average age of a primary galaxy's stellar population decreases with mass, because feedback delays star formation in less massive galaxies. Galaxies have stellar masses and current star formation rates as a function of total mass that are in good agreement with observational data. We discuss how both high mass and force resolution and a realistic description of star formation and feedback are important ingredients to match the observed properties of galaxies.


  • Governato, F
  • Willman, B
  • Mayer, L
  • Brooks, A
  • Stinson, G
  • Valenzuela, O
  • Wadsley, James
  • Quinn, T

publication date

  • February 1, 2007