Thursday, July 25, 2013

1307.6211 (Umberto Maio et al.)

Simulating extremely metal-poor gas and DLA metal content at redshift z=7    [PDF]

Umberto Maio, Benedetta Ciardi, Volker Mueller
We present the first theoretical study of metals in damped Ly-alpha (DLA) systems at redshift z=7. The features of cold, primordial gas are studied by means of N-body, hydro, chemistry simulations, including atomic and molecular non-equilibrium chemistry, cooling, star formation for population III and population II-I regimes, stellar evolution, cosmic metal spreading according to proper yields (for He, C, O, Si, Fe, Mg, S, etc.) and lifetimes, and feedback effects. Theoretical expectations are then compared to recently available constraints from DLA observations. We find that DLA galaxies at z=7 account for 10 per cent of the whole galaxy population and for most of the metal-poor galaxies at these epochs. About 7 per cent of these DLA galaxies contain purely pristine material and 34 per cent of them consist of very weakly polluted gas, being, therefore, suitable candidate s as population III sites. The remaining 59 per cent are enriched above ~10^{-4} Zsun. Additionally, DLA candidates appear to have: gas masses <~2x10^8 Msun; very low star formation rate, ~10^{-3} - 10^{-2} Msun/yr (significantly weaker than late-time counterparts); mean molecular fractions covering a fairly wide range, x_mol~10^{-3}- 10^{-6}; typical metallicities Z<~3x10^{-3}Zsun and HI column densities NHI>~3x10^{20} cm^{-2}. They present no or weak correlations between their gas mass and Z, NHI, or x_mol; a moderate correlation between x_mol and Z, linked to the ongoing molecular-driven star formation and metal pollution processes; a mild anti-correlation between NHI and x_mol, due to H depletion into molecules; and a chemical content that is subject to environmental dependencies.
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