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The formation of galaxy discs in a hierarchical universe

Stringer, M. J. and Benson, A. J. (2007) The formation of galaxy discs in a hierarchical universe. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 382 (2). pp. 641-651. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12469.x.

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The formation of galactic discs and the efficiency of star formation within them are issues central to our understanding of galaxy formation. We have developed a detailed and versatile model of disc formation which combines the strengths of previous studies of isolated discs with those of hierarchical galaxy formation models. Disc structure is inferred from the distribution of angular momentum in hot halo gas and the hierarchical build-up of dark matter, leading to theoretically generated systems where the evolution of surface density, rotation, velocity dispersion, stability and metallicity is predicted for annular regions of width 20-100 pc. The model will be used to establish whether the accepted theory of large-scale structure formation in the universe is consistent with observed trends in the properties of disc galaxies. This first paper explicitly examines the importance of embedding such calculations within a merging hierarchy of dark matter haloes, finding that this leads to dramatically different formation histories compared to models in which discs grow in isolation. Different models of star formation are explored, and are found to have only a secondary influence on the properties of the resulting galaxy discs, the main governing factor being the infalling gas supply from the hot halo.

Item Type:Article
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Benson, A. J.0000-0001-5501-6008
Additional Information:© 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 RAS. Accepted 2007 August 22. Received 2007 August 20; in original form 2007 March 14. We would like to thank Carlton Baugh, Richard Bower, Shaun Cole, Carlos Frenk, John Helly, Cedric Lacey and Rowena Malbon for allowing us to use the GALFORM semi-analytic model of galaxy formation ( in this work. We would also like to thank Joe Silk, Marios Kampakoglou and Mark Kamionkowski for valuable discussions and the anonymous referee for detailed comments which led to considerable improvements in the manuscript. AJB acknowledges support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. MJS acknowledges a PPARC studentship at the University of Oxford and the hospitality of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics at Caltech where much of this work was completed.
Group:Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:stars: formation; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: formation; galaxies: halo; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: structure
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:STRImnras07
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Official Citation:M. J. Stringer and A. J. Benson The formation of galaxy discs in a hierarchical universe MNRAS (2007) Vol. 382 641-651 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12469.x First published online December 1, 2007
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12486
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Dec 2008 21:37
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:29

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