How baryons affect haloes and large-scale structure: a unified picture from the Simba simulation

Daniele Sorini*, Romeel Dave*, Weiguang Cui, Sarah Appleby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Using the state-of-the-art suite of hydrodynamic simulations Simba, as well as its dark-matter-only counterpart, we study the impact of the presence of baryons and of different stellar/AGN feedback mechanisms on large-scale structure, halo density profiles, and on the abundance of different baryonic phases within haloes and in the intergalactic medium (IGM). The unified picture that emerges from our analysis is that the main physical drivers shaping the distribution of matter at all scales are star formation-driven galactic outflows at z > 2 for lower mass haloes and AGN jets at z < 2 in higher mass haloes. Feedback suppresses the baryon mass function with time relative to the halo mass function, and it even impacts the halo mass function itself at the ∼20 per cent level, particularly evacuating the centres and enhancing dark matter just outside haloes. At early epochs baryons pile up in the centres of haloes, but by late epochs and particularly in massive systems gas has mostly been evacuated from within the inner halo. AGN jets are so efficient at such evacuation that at low redshifts the baryon fraction within ∼1012–1013 M haloes is only 25 per cent of the cosmic baryon fraction, mostly in stars. The baryon fraction enclosed in a sphere around such haloes approaches the cosmic value Ωbm only at 10–20 virial radii. As a result, 87 per cent of the baryonic mass in the Universe lies in the IGM at z = 0, with 67 per cent being in the form of warm-hot IGM (T > 105K).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-906
Number of pages24
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Early online date10 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.CO


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