Supermassive black holes (BH) accrete gas from their surroundings and coalesce with companions during galaxy mergers, and both processes change the BH mass and spin. By means of high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations of galaxies, either idealised or embedded within the cosmic web, we explore the effects of interstellar gas dynamics and external perturbations on BH spin evolution. All these physical quantities were evolved on-the-fly in a self-consistent manner. We use a `maximal' model to describe the turbulence induced by stellar feedback to highlight its impact on the angular momentum of the gas accreted by the BH. Periods of intense star formation are followed by phases where stellar feedback drives large-scale outflows and hot bubbles. We find that BH accretion is synchronised with star formation, as only when gas is cold and dense do both processes take place. During such periods, gas motion is dominated by consistent rotation. On the other hand, when stellar feedback becomes substantial, turbulent motion randomises gas angular momentum. However BH accretion is strongly suppressed in that case, as cold and dense gas is lacking. In our cosmological simulation, at very early times (z>6), the galactic disc has not yet settled and no preferred direction exists for the angular momentum of the accreted gas, so the BH spin remains low. As the gas settles into a disc (6>z>3), the BH spin then rapidly reaches its maximal value. At lower redshifts (z<3), even when galaxy mergers flip the direction of the angular momentum of the accreted gas, causing it to counter-rotate, the BH spin magnitude only decreases modestly and temporarily. Should this be a typical evolution scenario for BH, it potentially has dramatic consequences regarding their origin and assembly, as accretion on maximally spinning BH embedded in thin Shakura-Sunyaev disc is significantly reduced.
Physical review letters 112 (2014) 105002-
We report on the dynamics of ultrafast heating in cryogenic hydrogen initiated by a ≲300 fs, 92 eV free electron laser x-ray burst. The rise of the x-ray scattering amplitude from a second x-ray pulse probes the transition from dense cryogenic molecular hydrogen to a nearly uncorrelated plasmalike structure, indicating an electron-ion equilibration time of ∼0.9 ps. The rise time agrees with radiation hydrodynamics simulations based on a conductivity model for partially ionized plasma that is validated by two-temperature density-functional theory.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 441 (2014) 3679-3695
We analyse the formation histories of 19 galaxies from cosmological smoothed particle hydrodynamics zoom-in resimulations. We construct mock three-colour images and show that the models reproduce observed trends in the evolution of galaxy colours and morphologies. However, only a small fraction of galaxies contains bars. Many galaxies go through phases of central mass growth by in situ star formation driven by gas-rich mergers or misaligned gas infall. These events lead to accretion of low angular momentum gas to the centres and leave imprints on the distributions of z = 0 stellar circularities, radii and metallicities as functions of age. Observations of the evolution of structural properties of samples of disc galaxies at z = 2.5-0.0 infer continuous mass assembly at all radii. Our simulations can only explain this if there is a significant contribution from mergers or misaligned infall, as expected in a Λ cold dark matter universe. Quiescent merger histories lead to high kinematic disc fractions and inside-out growth, but show little central growth after the last 'destructive' merger at z > 1.5. For sufficiently strong feedback, as assumed in our models, a moderate amount of merging does not seem to be a problem for the z = 0 disc galaxy population, but may rather be a requirement. The average profiles of simulated disc galaxies agree with observations at z≥1.5. At z≤1, there is too much growth in size and too little growth in centralmass, possibly due to the underabundance of bars. The discrepancies may partly be caused by differences between the star formation histories of the simulations and those assumed for observations. © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 444 (2014) 3388-3407
A large-scale hydrodynamical cosmological simulation, Horizon-AGN, is used to investigate the alignment between the spin of galaxies and the cosmic filaments above redshift 1.2. The analysis of more than 150 000 galaxies per time step in the redshift range 1.2<z<1.8 with morphological diversity shows that the spin of low-mass blue galaxies is preferentially aligned with their neighbouring filaments, while high-mass red galaxies tend to have a perpendicular spin. The reorientation of the spin of massive galaxies is provided by galaxy mergers, which are significant in their mass build-up. We find that the stellar mass transition from alignment to misalignment happens around 3.10^10 M_sun. Galaxies form in the vorticity-rich neighbourhood of filaments, and migrate towards the nodes of the cosmic web as they convert their orbital angular momentum into spin. The signature of this process can be traced to the properties of galaxies, as measured relative to the cosmic web. We argue that a strong source of feedback such as active galactic nuclei is mandatory to quench in situ star formation in massive galaxies and promote various morphologies. It allows mergers to play their key role by reducing post-merger gas inflows and, therefore, keeping spins misaligned with cosmic filaments.
The ATLAS(3D) project - XXV. Two-dimensional kinematic analysis of simulated galaxies and the cosmological origin of fast and slow rotators
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 444 (2014) 3357-3387
Context. Cygnus A, as the nearest powerful FR II radio galaxy, plays an important role in understanding jets and their impact on the surrounding intracluster medium. Aims. To explain why the nucleus is observed superposed onto the eastern lobe rather than in between the two lobes, and why the jet and counterjet are non-colinear. Methods. We made a comparative study of the radio images at different frequencies of Cygnus A, in combination with the published results on the radial velocities in the Cygnus A cluster. Results. From the morphology of the inner lobes we conclude that the lobes are not interacting with one another, but are well separated, even at low radio frequencies. We explain the location of the nucleus as the result of the proper motion of the galaxy through the cluster. The required proper motion is of the same order of magnitude as the radial velocity offset of Cygnus A with the sub-cluster it belongs to. The proper motion of the galaxy through the cluster likely also explains the non-co-linearity of the jet and counterjet.
Erratum: IceCube sensitivity for low-energy neutrinos from nearby supernovae(Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011) 535 : A109 (DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201117810))
Astronomy and Astrophysics 563 (2014)
The ion toroidal rotation in a tokamak consists of an $E\times B$ flow due to the radial electric field and a diamagnetic flow due to the radial pressure gradient. The turbulent pinch of toroidal angular momentum due to the Coriolis force studied in previous work is only applicable to the $E\times B$ flow. In this Letter, the momentum pinch for the rotation generated by the radial pressure gradient is calculated and is compared with the Coriolis pinch. This distinction is important for subsonic flows or the flow in the pedestal where the two types of flows are similar in size and opposite in direction. In the edge, the different pinches due to the opposite rotations can result in intrinsic momentum transport that gives significant rotation peaking.
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 445 (2014) 256-269
PLASMA PHYSICS AND CONTROLLED FUSION 56 (2014) ARTN 129501
Using the Horizon-AGN simulation we find a mass dependent spin orientation trend for galaxies: the spin of low-mass, rotation-dominated, blue, star-forming galaxies are preferentially aligned with their closest filament, whereas high-mass, velocity dispersion- supported, red quiescent galaxies tend to possess a spin perpendicular to these filaments. We explore the physical mechanisms driving galactic spin swings and quantify how much mergers and smooth accretion re-orient them relative to their host filaments and impact their shape. In particular, we analyze the effect of dispersion and morphology of galaxies and discuss potential tracers for prospective surveys.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 441 (2014) 2159-2172
We analyse the radial distribution of HI gas for 23 disc galaxies with unusually high HI content from the Bluedisk sample, along with a similar-sized sample of 'normal' galaxies. We propose an empirical model to fit the radial profile of the HI surface density, an exponential function with a depression near the centre. The radial HI surface density profiles are very homogeneous in the outer regions of the galaxy; the exponentially declining part of the profile has a scalelength of ~0.18 R1, where R1 is the radius where the column density of the HI is 1 M⊙ pc-2. This holds for all galaxies, independent of their stellar or HI mass. The homogenous outer profiles, combined with the limited range in HI surface density in the nonexponential inner disc, results in the well-known tight relation between HI size and HI mass. By comparing the radial profiles of the HI-rich galaxies with those of the control systems, we deduce that in about half the galaxies, most of the excess gas lies outside the stellar disc, in the exponentially declining outer regions of the HI disc. In the other half, the excess is more centrally peaked. We compare our results with existing smoothed particle hydrodynamical simulations and semi-analytic models of disc galaxy formation in a Λ cold dark matter universe. Both the hydro simulations and the semi-analytic models reproduce the HI surface density profiles and the HI size-mass relation without further tuning of the simulation and model inputs. In the semi-analytic models, the universal shape of the outer HI radial profiles is a consequence of the assumption that infalling gas is always distributed exponentially. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Filaments of the cosmic web drive spin acquisition of disc galaxies. The point process of filament-type saddle represent best this environment and can be used to revisit the Tidal Torque Theory in the context of an anisotropic peak (saddle) background split. The constrained misalignment between the tidal tensor and the Hessian of the density field generated in the vicinity of filament saddle points simply explains the corresponding transverse and longitudinal point-reflection symmetric geometry of spin distribution. It predicts in particular an azimuthal orientation of the spins of more massive galaxies and spin alignment with the filament for less massive galaxies. Its scale dependence also allows us to relate the transition mass corresponding to the alignment of dark matter halos spin relative to the direction of their neighboring filament to this geometry, and to predict accordingly it s scaling with the mass of non linearity, as was measured in simulations.
ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS 789 (2014) ARTN L29
GROUND-BASED AND AIRBORNE INSTRUMENTATION FOR ASTRONOMY V 9147 (2014)
We revisit the model proposed earlier to account for the observed increase in the positron fraction in cosmic rays with increasing energy, in the light of new data from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) experiment. The model accounts for the production and acceleration of secondary electrons and positrons in nearby supernova remnants which results in an additional, harder component that becomes dominant at high energies. By fitting this to AMS-02 data we can calculate the expected concomitant rise of the boron-to-carbon ratio, as well as of the fraction of antiprotons. If these predictions are confirmed by the forthcoming AMS-02 data it would conclusively rule out all other proposed explanations, in particular dark matter annihilations or decays.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 437 (2014) 2230-2248
I present a new framework for estimating a galaxy's gravitational potential, Phi, from its stellar kinematics. It adopts a fully non-parametric model for the galaxy's unknown phase-space distribution function, f, that takes full advantage of Jeans' theorem. Given an expression for the joint likelihood of Phi and f, the likelihood of Phi is calculated by using a Dirichlet process mixture to represent the prior on f and marginalising. I demonstrate that modelling machinery constructed using this framework is successful at recovering the potentials of some simple systems given perfect kinematical data, a situation handled effortlessly by traditional moment-based methods, such as the virial theorem, but in which the more modern extended-Schwarzschild method fails. Unlike moment-based methods, however, the models constructed using this framework can easily be generalised to take account of realistic observational errors and selection functions.
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 444 (2014) 3408-3426
GROUND-BASED AND AIRBORNE INSTRUMENTATION FOR ASTRONOMY V 9147 (2014)