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The EAGLE project: simulating the evolution and assembly of galaxies and their environments

Schaye, J and Crain, RA and Bower, RG and Furlong, M and Schaller, M and Theuns, T and Dalla Vecchia, C and Frenk, CS and McCarthy, IG and Helly, JC and Jenkins, A and Rosas-Guevara, YM and White, SDM and Baes, M and Booth, CM and Camps, P and Navarro, JF and Qu, Y and Rahmati, A and Sawala, T and Thomas, PA and Trayford, J (2015) The EAGLE project: simulating the evolution and assembly of galaxies and their environments. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 446 (1). pp. 521-554. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

We introduce the Virgo Consortium's EAGLE project, a suite of hydrodynamical simulations that follow the formation of galaxies and supermassive black holes in cosmologically representative volumes of a standard �CDM universe. We discuss the limitations of such simulations in light of their finite resolution and poorly constrained subgrid physics, and how these affect their predictive power. One major improvement is our treatment of feedback from massive stars and AGN in which thermal energy is injected into the gas without the need to turn o� cooling or decouple hydrodynamical forces, allowing winds to develop without predetermined speed or mass loading factors. Because the feedback efficiencies cannot be predicted from �first principles, we calibrate them to the present-day galaxy stellar mass function and the amplitude of the galaxy central black hole mass relation, also taking galaxy sizes into account. The observed galaxy stellar mass function is reproduced to <�0:2 dex over the full resolved mass range, 108 < M�=M�<�1011, a level of agreement close to that attained by semi-analytic models, and unprecedented for hydrodynamical simulations. We compare our results to a representative set of low-redshift observables not considered in the calibration, and find good agreement with the observed galaxy special star formation rates, passive fractions, Tully-Fisher relation, total stellar luminosities of galaxy clusters, and column density distributions of intergalactic Civ and Ovi. While the mass-metallicity relations for gas and stars are consistent with observations for M�>�109M� (M�>�1010M� at intermediate resolution), they are insufficiently steep at lower masses. For the reference model the gas fractions and temperatures
are too high for clusters of galaxies, but for galaxy groups these discrepancies can be resolved by adopting a higher heating temperature in the subgrid prescription for AGN feedback. The EAGLE simulation suite, which also includes physics variations and higher-resolution zoomed-in volumes described elsewhere, constitutes a valuable new resource for studies of galaxy formation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2015 The Authors. 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 University Press
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Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2015 14:57
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 16:42
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stu2058
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/829

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