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Title: Simulations of mass accretion onto dark matter haloes and angular momentum transfer to a Milky Way disk at high redshift
Author: Tillson, Henry
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 3940
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis presents results from two simulation studies of galaxy formation. In the first project, a dark-matter-only HORIZON simulation is used to investigate the environment and redshift dependence of mass accretion onto haloes and subhaloes. It is found that the halo accretion rate varies less strongly with redshift than predicted by the Extended Press--Schechter formalism, and that low accretion events may drive the radio-mode feedback hypothesized for recent galaxy formation models. The subhaloes at $z<0.5$ in the simulation accrete at higher rates than haloes, on average, and it is argued that this is due to their enhanced clustering at small scales. There is no dependence of accretion rate on environment at $zsim2$, but a weak correlation emerges at $zleq0.5$. The results further support previous suggestions that at $z>1$, dark matter haloes and their associated black holes grew coevally, but imply that haloes could be accreting at fractional rates that are up to a factor of 3--4 higher than their associated black holes by the present day. In the second project, outputs from one of the Adaptive Mesh Refinement NUT simulations are analyzed in order to test whether filamentary flows of cold gas are responsible for the build-up of angular momentum within a Milky Way type disk at $zgeq3$. A set of algorithms are presented that use the resolved physical scale of $12,mathrm{pc}$ to identify: (i) the central gas disk and its plane of orientation; (ii) the complex individual filament trajectories that connect to the disk, and; (iii) the infalling satellites. The results suggest that two filaments at $zgtrsim 5.5$, which later merge to form a single filament at $zlesssim 4$, drive the angular momentum and mass budget of the disk between $3lesssim zlesssim 8$, whereas luminous satellite mergers make negligible fractional contributions. These findings hence provide strong quantitative evidence that the growth of thin disks in low mass haloes at high redshift is supported via inflowing streams of cold gas.
Supervisor: Miller, Lance ; Slyz, Adrianne Sponsor: Science and Technology Facilities Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Astrophysics ; Astrophysics (theoretical) ; numerical simulations ; cosmology theory ; galaxy formation