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What Shapes the Galaxy Mass Function? Exploring the Roles of Supernova-Driven Winds and AGN

Bower, RG and Benson, AJ and Crain, RA (2012) What Shapes the Galaxy Mass Function? Exploring the Roles of Supernova-Driven Winds and AGN. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 422 (4). pp. 2816-2840. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

The observed stellar mass function (SMF) is very different to the halo mass function predicted by Lambda-CDM, and it is widely accepted that this is due to energy feedback from supernovae and black holes. However, the strength and form of this feedback is not understood. In this paper, we use the phenomenological model GALFORM to explore how galaxy formation depends on the strength and halo mass dependence of feedback. We focus on 'expulsion' models in which the wind mass loading, beta, is proportional to 1/\vdisk^n, with n=0,1,2 and contrast these models with the successful Bower et al.\ 2008 model (B8W7). A crucial development is that our code explicitly accounts for the recapture of expelled gas as the system's halo mass (and thus gravitational potential) increases. We find that a model with modest wind speed but high mass loading matches the flat portion of the SMF. When combined with AGN feedback, the model provides a good description of the observed SMF above 10^9 h^-1 Msol. However, in the expulsion models, the brightest galaxies are assembled more recently than in B8W7, and the specific star formation rates of galaxies decrease strongly with decreasing stellar mass. The expulsion models also tend to have a cosmic star formation density that is dominated by lower mass galaxies at z=1-3, and dominated high mass galaxies at low redshift. These trends are in conflict with observational data, but the comparison highlights some deficiencies of the B8W7 model also. The experiments in this paper give us important physical insight to the impact of the feedback process on the formation histories of galaxies, but the strong mass dependence of feedback adopted in B8W7 still appears to provide the most promising description of the observed universe.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2012 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.CO; astro-ph.CO
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2015 08:37
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2015 08:37
DOI or Identification number: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20516.x
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/917

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