The numerical frontier of the high-redshift Universe

Thomas H Greif
2015 Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology  
The first stars are believed to have formed a few hundred million years after the big bang in so-called dark matter minihalos with masses ∼ 10 6 M . Their radiation lit up the Universe for the first time, and the supernova explosions that ended their brief lives enriched the intergalactic medium with the first heavy elements. Influenced by their feedback, the first galaxies assembled in halos with masses ∼ 10 8 M , and hosted the first metal-enriched stellar populations. In this review, I
more » ... ize the theoretical progress made in the field of high-redshift star and galaxy formation since the turn of the millennium, with an emphasis on numerical simulations. These have become the method of choice to understand the multi-scale, multi-physics problem posed by structure formation in the early Universe. In the first part of the review, I focus on the formation of the first stars in minihalos -in particular the post-collapse phase, where disk fragmentation, protostellar evolution, and radiative feedback become important. I also discuss the influence of additional physical processes, such as magnetic fields and streaming velocities. In the second part of the review, I summarize the various feedback mechanisms exerted by the first stars, followed by a discussion of the first galaxies and the various physical processes that operate in them.
doi:10.1186/s40668-014-0006-2 fatcat:rboiqy6v7jhe5crcbcoaid6ry4