MaGICC-WDM: the effects of warm dark matter in hydrodynamical simulations of disc galaxy formation Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We study the effect of warm dark matter (WDM) on hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy formation as part of the Making Galaxies in a Cosmological Context (MaGICC) project. We simulate three different galaxies using three WDM candidates of 1, 2 and 5 keV and compare results with pure cold dark matter simulations. WDM slightly reduces star formation and produces less centrally concentrated stellar profiles. These effects are most evident for the 1 keV candidate but almost disappear for $m_{\mathrm{WDM}}>2$ keV. All simulations form similar stellar discs independent of WDM particle mass. In particular, the disc scale length does not change when WDM is considered. The reduced amount of star formation in the case of 1 keV particles is due to the effects of WDM on merging satellites which are on average less concentrated and less gas rich. The altered satellites cause a reduced starburst during mergers because they trigger weaker disc instabilities in the main galaxy. Nevertheless we show that disc galaxy evolution is much more sensitive to stellar feedback than it is to WDM candidate mass. Overall we find that WDM, especially when restricted to current observational constraints ($m_{\mathrm{WDM}}>2$ keV), has a minor impact on disc galaxy formation.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014