The Velocity Function of Galaxies
We present a galaxy circular velocity function, Psi(log v), derived from existing luminosity functions and luminosity-velocity relations. Such a velocity function is desirable for several reasons. First, it enables an objective comparison of luminosity functions obtained in different bands and for different galaxy morphologies, with a statistical correction for dust extinction. In addition, the velocity function simplifies comparison of observations with predictions from high-resolution
... -resolution cosmological N-body simulations. We derive velocity functions from five different data sets and find rough agreement among them, but about a factor of 2 variation in amplitude. These velocity functions are then compared with N-body simulations of a LCDM model (corrected for baryonic infall) in order to demonstrate both the utility and current limitations of this approach. The number density of dark matter halos and the slope of the velocity function near v_*, the circular velocity corresponding to an ~L_* spiral galaxy, are found to be comparable to that of observed galaxies. The primary sources of uncertainty in construction of Psi(log v) from observations and N-body simulations are discussed and explanations are suggected to account for these discrepancies.