Making Realistic Galaxies in Your Computer

Making Realistic Galaxies in Your Computer

 Cosmological hydrodynamical simulations are a useful tool for following the formation and evolution of galaxies over long timescales, but we must prescribe accurate models for the physics on small scales, below the resolution limits of our simulations. I investigate several different "subgrid models" at these scales to see what their effects are on a single Milky Way sized galaxy evolved from just after the Big Bang until the present. I grade the success of each model on how well it matches the dynamics of typical disk galaxies, creates a realistic star formation history, and produces a reasonable circumgalactic halo.

Date

February 9, 2012 - 10:00am

Location

Boggs/LDL 114

 Cosmological hydrodynamical simulations are a useful tool for following the formation and evolution of galaxies over long timescales, but we must prescribe accurate models for the physics on small scales, below the resolution limits of our simulations. I investigate several different "subgrid models" at these scales to see what their effects are on a single Milky Way sized galaxy evolved from just after the Big Bang until the present. I grade the success of each model on how well it matches the dynamics of typical disk galaxies, creates a realistic star formation history, and produces a reasonable circumgalactic halo.