THE PRESSURE OF THE STAR-FORMING INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM IN COSMOLOGICAL SIMULATIONS Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We examine the pressure of the star-forming interstellar medium (ISM) of Milky-Way sized disk galaxies using fully cosmological SPH+N-body, high resolution simulations. These simulations include explicit treatment of metal-line cooling in addition to dust and self-shielding, $\mathrm{H_{2}}$ based star formation. The 4 simulated halos have masses ranging from a few times $10^{10}$ to nearly $10^{12}$ solar masses. Using a kinematic decomposition of these galaxies into present-day bulge and disk components, we find that the typical pressure of the star-forming ISM in the present-day bulge is higher than that in the present-day disk by an order of magnitude. We also find that pressure of the star-forming ISM at high redshift is on average, higher than ISM pressures at low redshift. This explains the why the bulge forms at higher pressures: the disk assembles at lower redshift, when the ISM is lower pressure and the bulge forms at high redshift, when the ISM is at higher pressure. If ISM pressure and IMF variation are tied together as suggested in studies like \cite{Conroy2012}, these results could indicate a time-dependent IMF in Milky-Way like systems, as well as a different IMF in the bulge and the disk.

authors

  • Munshi, Ferah
  • Christensen, Charlotte
  • Quinn, Thomas R
  • Governato, Fabio
  • Wadsley, James
  • Loebman, Sarah
  • Shen, Sijing

publication date

  • January 20, 2014