The influence of environment on galaxy formation
Brunino, Riccardo (2012) The influence of environment on galaxy formation. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
The dynamical evolution of the matter content of the universe is modelled throughout this study as that of self and mutually gravitating Lagrangian fluids in the so called ΛCDM-Concordance cosmological framework which leads to the Hierarchical Clustering paradigm for the formation of cosmic structures. As a numerical tool for investigating galaxy formation scenarios in this context, we employed GADGET2 (see Springel 2005) and the more recent GADGET3 (see Springel et al. 2008): we describe the numerical solvers implemented in the code and test their behaviour in both gravitational and hydrodynamical setups of relevance for cosmological calculations (Tasker et al. 2008). Using the outputs of the MILLENNIUM simulation and the relative Semi Analytical galaxy catalogues produced by Croton et al. 2006, we developed an algorithm aimed at the identification of large spherical underdense regions in the simulated Large Scale Structure (LSS), at z = 0. Focusing on this peculiar environment, we found a confirmation in numerical simulations for the observations by Trujillo, Carretero & Patiri (2006). The Tidal Torque Theory can predict the spatial distribution of the orientation of both the angular momentum vector of Milky Way size galaxies located on the surface of large spherical voids, and of their host DM halos. We re–simulated the 5 GIMIC regions (Crain et al. 2009) following the gravitational evolution of the CDM component only. We then applied a Semi Analytical Model (SAM) of galaxy formation (De Lucia & Blaizot 2007) obtaining the galaxy catalogues and merger histories for the 5 different volumes simulated. It is not yet well understood if and how the LSS environment can influence the Star Formation (SF) histories of galaxies. Starting from the stellar mass content of semi–analytical galaxies at z = 0, we defined characteristic epochs for their build up and, as a preliminary study, investigated how these distribute as a function of different LSS environments.
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