Shaping the galaxy stellar mass function with supernova- and AGN-driven winds

Ewald Puchwein, Volker Springel
2012 Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society  
Cosmological hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy formation in representative regions of the Universe typically need to resort to subresolution models to follow some of the feedback processes crucial for galaxy formation. Here, we show that an energy-driven outflow model in which the wind velocity decreases and the wind mass loading increases in low-mass galaxies, as suggested by observations, can produce a good match to the low-mass end of the observed galaxy stellar mass function. The
more » ... s end can be recovered simultaneously if feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) and a correction for diffuse stellar light plausibly missed in observations are included. At the same time, our model is in good agreement with the stellar mass functions at redshifts z=1 and z=2, and with the observed redshift evolution of the cosmic star formation rate density. In addition, it accurately reproduces the observed gas to stellar mass ratios and specific star formation rates of galaxies as a function of their stellar mass. This agreement with a diverse set of data marks significant progress in hydrodynamically modelling the formation of a representative galaxy population. It also suggests that the mass flux in real galactic winds should strongly increase towards low-mass galaxies. Without this assumption, an overproduction of galaxies at the faint-end of the galaxy luminosity function seems inevitable in our models.
doi:10.1093/mnras/sts243 fatcat:utgdbq3lzzaxzfnfxo6fswq2rq