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Halo Substructure and the Nature of Dark Matter

LOVELL, MARK,RICHARD (2013) Halo Substructure and the Nature of Dark Matter. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The ΛCDM paradigm has been very successful at predicting the properties of the large scale (> 10Mpc) Universe, but has recently struggled to explain phenomena observed on small scales, such as the central densities, abundances, and orbital configurations of satellite galaxies. This emergence of tension between observations and theory has co- incided with CERN measurements that disfavour the simplest supersymmetric models, which provide some of the most popular cold dark matter candidate particles. One pos- sible solution to some of these problems is that the dark matter may instead be made up of sterile neutrinos: these particles would have masses of 1-10keV and behave as ’warm’ dark matter (WDM), with consequences for the formation of galaxies. In this thesis we use high resolution simulations of Milky Way-analogue dark matter haloes to examine the role of filaments on satellite orbits and WDM on satellite abundance and structure. We find in the former case that dark matter filaments can funnel subhaloes into cor- related orbits and so ease the tension with observations. We also find that WDM is a possible solution to the problem of satellite galaxy densities, since structure formation is delayed in WDM and thus the centres of haloes form when the density of the Universe is lower. In order to generate the required number of satellite galaxies, we find that the WDM thermal-equivalent particle mass > 1.6keV. In addition to the work on satellite galaxies, we use a series of gas-hydrodynamic simulations of our Milky Way-analogue halo to examine the process of reionisation in WDM. We find that the suppression of small scale structure in the 1.4keV WDM model prevents the simulated L∗ galaxy, along with its satellites, from reionising its own local volume quickly enough to satisfy the reionisation redshift constraint set by the recent Planck satellite results, in contrast to CDM.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Physics, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Oct 2013 10:22

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