A Universal Density Profile from Hierarchical Clustering

Julio F. Navarro, Carlos S. Frenk, Simon D. M. White
1997 Astrophysical Journal  
We use high-resolution N-body simulations to study the equilibrium density profiles of dark matter halos in hierarchically clustering universes. We find that all such profiles have the same shape, independent of halo mass, of initial density fluctuation spectrum, and of the values of the cosmological parameters. Spherically averaged equilibrium profiles are well fit over two decades in radius by a simple formula originally proposed to describe the structure of galaxy clusters in a cold dark
more » ... in a cold dark matter universe. In any particular cosmology the two scale parameters of the fit, the halo mass and its characteristic density, are strongly correlated. Low-mass halos are significantly denser than more massive systems, a correlation which reflects the higher collapse redshift of small halos. The characteristic density of an equilibrium halo is proportional to the density of the universe at the time it was assembled. A suitable definition of this assembly time allows the same proportionality constant to be used for all the cosmologies that we have tested. We compare our results to previous work on halo density profiles and show that there is good agreement. We also provide a step-by-step analytic procedure, based on the Press-Schechter formalism, which allows accurate equilibrium profiles to be calculated as a function of mass in any hierarchical model.
doi:10.1086/304888 fatcat:lzhmwrb7erhtlhtwueoyq3j2cy