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Cosmic distribution of highly ionized metals and their physical conditions in the EAGLE simulations

Rahmati, A and Schaye, J and Crain, RA and Oppenheimer, BD and Schaller, M and Theuns, T (2016) Cosmic distribution of highly ionized metals and their physical conditions in the EAGLE simulations. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 459 (1). pp. 310-332. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

We study the distribution and evolution of highly ionized intergalactic metals in the Evolution and Assembly of Galaxies and their Environment (EAGLE) cosmological, hydrodynamical simulations. EAGLE has been shown to reproduce a wide range of galaxy properties while its subgrid feedback was calibrated without considering gas properties. We compare the predictions for the column density distribution functions (CDDFs) and cosmic densities of Si IV, CIV, NV, OVI and Ne VIII absorbers with observations at redshift z = 0 to ∼6 and find reasonable agreement, although there are some differences. We show that the typical physical densities of the absorbing gas increase with column density and redshift, but decrease with the ionization energy of the absorbing ion. The typical metallicity increases with both column density and time. The fraction of collisionally ionized metal absorbers increases with time and ionization energy. While our results show little sensitivity to the presence or absence of AGN feedback, increasing/decreasing the efficiency of stellar feedback by a factor of 2 substantially decreases / increases the CDDFs and the cosmic densities of the metal ions. We show that the impact of the efficiency of stellar feedback on the CDDFs and cosmic densities is largely due to its effect on the metal production rate. However, the temperatures of the metal absorbers, particularly those of strong OVI, are directly sensitive to the strength of the feedback.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2016 R.A. Crain et al. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 10:41
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2016 10:41
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stw453
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3808

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