Journal Article

Analytical approach to subhalo population in dark matter haloes

Carlo Giocoli, Lidia Pieri and Giuseppe Tormen

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 387, issue 2, pages 689-697
Published in print June 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Analytical approach to subhalo population in dark matter haloes

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In the standard model of cosmic structure formation, dark matter haloes form by gravitational instability. The process is hierarchical: smaller systems collapse earlier, and later merge to form larger haloes. The galaxy clusters, hosted by the largest dark matter haloes, are at the top of this hierarchy and representing the largest as well as the last structures formed in the Universe, while the smaller and first haloes are those Earth-sized dark subhaloes that have been both predicted by theoretical considerations and found in numerical simulations, though there do not exist any observational hints of their existence. The probability that a halo of mass m at redshift z will be part of a larger halo of mass M at the present time can be described in the frame of the extended Press & Schecter theory making use of the progenitor (conditional) mass function. Using the progenitor mass function, we calculate analytically, at redshift zero, the distribution of subhaloes in mass, formation epoch and rarity of the peak of the density field at the formation epoch. That is done for a Milky Way size system, assuming both a spherical and an ellipsoidal collapse model. Our calculation assumes that small progenitors do not lose mass due to dynamical processes after entering the parent halo, and that they do not interact with other subhaloes. For a Λ cold dark matter power spectrum, we obtain a subhalo mass function dn/dm proportional to m−α with a model-independent α∼ 2. Assuming that the dark matter is a weakly interacting massive particle, the inferred distributions are used to test the feasibility of an indirect detection in the γ-ray energy band of such a population of subhaloes with a Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope like satellite.

Keywords: methods: analytical; galaxies: haloes; cosmology: theory; dark matter

Journal Article.  6904 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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