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The Origin and Evolution of the Galaxy Mass-Metallicity Relation

Ma, Xiangcheng and Hopkins, Philip F. and Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André and Zolman, Nick and Muratov, Aexander L. and Kereš, Dušan and Quataert, Eliot (2016) The Origin and Evolution of the Galaxy Mass-Metallicity Relation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 456 (2). pp. 2140-2156. ISSN 0035-8711.

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We use high-resolution cosmological zoom-in simulations from the Feedback in Realistic Environment (FIRE) project to study the galaxy mass–metallicity relations (MZR) from z=0–6. These simulations include explicit models of the multi-phase ISM, star formation, and stellar feedback. The simulations cover halo masses M_(halo) = 10^9–10^(13) M_☉ and stellar masses M_* = 10^4–10^(11) M_☉ at z = 0 and have been shown to produce many observed galaxy properties from z = 0–6. For the first time, our simulations agree reasonably well with the observed mass–metallicity relations at z = 0–3 for a broad range of galaxy masses. We predict the evolution of the MZR from z = 0–6, as log(Z_(gas)/Z_☉) = 12+log(O/H)-9.0 = 0.35 [log(M_*/M_☉) - 10] + 0.93exp(-0.43z) - 1.05 and log(Z_*/Z_☉) = [Fe=H] + 0.2 = 0.40 [log(M_*/M_☉)-10]+0.67exp(-0.50z)-1.04, for gas-phase and stellar metallicity, respectively. Our simulations suggest that the evolution of MZR is associated with the evolution of stellar/gas mass fractions at different redshifts, indicating the existence of a universal metallicity relation between stellar mass, gas mass, and metallicities. In our simulations, galaxies above M_* = 10^6 M_☉ are able to retain a large fraction of their metals inside the halo, because metal-rich winds fail to escape completely and are recycled into the galaxy. This resolves a long-standing discrepancy between “sub-grid” wind models (and semi-analytic models) and observations, where common sub-grid models cannot simultaneously reproduce the MZR and the stellar mass functions.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ma, Xiangcheng0000-0001-8091-2349
Hopkins, Philip F.0000-0003-3729-1684
Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André0000-0002-4900-6628
Kereš, Dušan0000-0002-1666-7067
Quataert, Eliot0000-0001-9185-5044
Additional Information:© 2015 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2015 November 10. Received 2015 October 17. In original form 2015 April 8. First published online December 30, 2015. We thank Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, Yu Lu, Evan Kirby, Paul Torrey, Andrew Wetzel, and many friends for helpful discussion and useful comments on this paper. The simulations used in this paper were run on XSEDE computational resources (allocations TGAST120025, TG-AST130039, and TG-AST140023). Support for PFH was provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant 776 to the Caltech Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics, by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation through Sloan Research Fellowship BR2014-022, and by NSF through grant AST-1411920. CAFG was supported by NSF through grant AST-1412836, by NASA through grant NNX15AB22G, and by Northwestern University funds. DK was supported by NSF grant AST-1412153 and UC San Diego funds. EQ was supported by NASA ATP grant 12-APT12-0183, a Simons Investigator award from the Simons Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Thomas Alison Schneider Chair in Physics at UC Berkeley.
Group:TAPIR, Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation776
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationBR2014-022
Northwestern UniversityUNSPECIFIED
University of California, San DiegoUNSPECIFIED
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: formation, galaxies: evolution, cosmology: theory
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150423-081343792
Persistent URL:
Official Citation: Xiangcheng Ma, Philip F. Hopkins, Claude-André Faucher-Giguère, Nick Zolman, Alexander L. Muratov, Dušan Kereš, and Eliot Quataert The origin and evolution of the galaxy mass–metallicity relation MNRAS (February 21, 2016) Vol. 456 2140-2156 doi:10.1093/mnras/stv2659 First published online December 30, 2015
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56899
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:23 Apr 2015 20:06
Last Modified:22 Nov 2019 23:11

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