A Caltech Library Service

Radiative Stellar Feedback in Galaxy Formation: Methods and Physics

Hopkins, Philip F. and Grudić, Michael Y. and Wetzel, Andrew R. and Kereš, Dušan and Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André and Ma, Xiangcheng and Murray, Norman and Butcher, Nathan (2018) Radiative Stellar Feedback in Galaxy Formation: Methods and Physics. . (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Radiative feedback (RFB) from stars plays a key role in galaxies, but remains poorly-understood. We explore this using high-resolution, multi-frequency radiation-hydrodynamics (RHD) simulations from the Feedback In Realistic Environments (FIRE) project. We study dwarf through Milky Way masses, and explore RHD effects including H/He photoionization; photoelectric, Lyman Werner, Compton, thermal dust heating; single and multiple-scattering radiation pressure (RP). We also compare fundamentally distinct RHD algorithms: the ray-based LEBRON (exact when optically-thin) and moments-based M1 (exact when optically-thick). In all cases, the dominant RFB channels on galaxy scales are photoionization heating and single-scattering RP. At all masses, most of the ionizing/FUV luminosity from young stars (~half bolometric) is absorbed. In dwarfs, the strongest effect is photoionization heating from the meta-galactic background, suppressing accretion onto galaxies. At MW-mass the meta-galactic background has negligible effects; but local photoionization and single-scattering RP both contribute significantly to regulating the galactic star formation efficiency and lowering central densities. Without some RFB (or other 'rapid' FB), resolved GMCs turn most of their mass into stars, making galaxies dominated by hyper-dense, bound clusters. This makes star formation more violent and 'bursty' when SNe explode in hyper-clustered objects: thus, including RFB tends to 'smooth out' star formation. IR multiple-scattering is rare: the majority of photon absorption occurs in 'normal' GMCs with A_V ∼ 1. These conclusions are robust to the RHD method, but M1 produces somewhat stronger RFB effects.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Hopkins, Philip F.0000-0003-3729-1684
Wetzel, Andrew R.0000-0003-0603-8942
Kereš, Dušan0000-0002-1666-7067
Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André0000-0002-4900-6628
Ma, Xiangcheng0000-0001-8091-2349
Additional Information:We thank Eliot Quataert, Alexander Richings and Alexander Gurvich, with whom we have had a number of useful discussions on topics here. Support for PFH and co-authors was provided by an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, NSF Collaborative Research Grant #1715847 and CAREER grant #1455342, and NASA grants NNX15AT06G, JPL 1589742, 17-ATP17-0214. AW was supported by NASA, through ATP grant 80NSSC18K1097, and HST grants GO-14734 and AR-15057 from STScI. DK was supported by NSF grant AST-1715101 and the Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Numerical calculations were run on the Caltech compute cluster “Wheeler,” allocations from XSEDE TG-AST130039 and PRAC NSF.1713353 supported by the NSF, and NASA HEC SMD-16-7592.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Cottrell Scholar of Research CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: formation— galaxies: evolution— galaxies: active — stars: formation— cosmology: theory
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190206-105644699
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92731
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:07 Feb 2019 15:55
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:47

Repository Staff Only: item control page