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Interpreting Dwarf Galaxy Observations with Realistic Simulations

Date: Wed. March 18th, 2015, 11:00 am-1:00 pm
Location: Sears 552

Interpreting Dwarf Galaxy Observations with Realistic Simulations

Alyson Brooks, Rutgers University

The cosmological model based on cold dark matter (CDM) and dark energy has been hugely successful in describing the observed evolution and large scale structure of our Universe. However, at smaller scales, dwarf galaxy observations have long presented a challenge to CDM galaxy formation theory. Recently, high resolution cosmological simulations that include baryonic physics within a CDM context have finally been able to successfully reproduce many of the characteristics of dwarfs, including those characteristics that challenged CDM theory. I will present results from simulations of both isolated and satellite dwarf galaxies, and demonstrate that the inclusion of baryons can significantly alter the dark matter structure of galaxies. The same processes that act to create dark matter cores may also leave other observable imprints that can be used to test the role of baryonic feedback.

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