Journal Article

Simulations of the Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect from quasars

S. Chatterjee, T. Di Matteo, A. Kosowsky and I. Pelupessy

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 390, issue 2, pages 535-544
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Simulations of the Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect from quasars

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Quasar feedback has most likely a substantial but only partially understood impact on the formation of structure in the universe. A potential direct probe of this feedback mechanism is the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect: energy emitted from quasar heats the surrounding intergalactic medium and induces a distortion in the microwave background radiation passing through the region. Here, we examine the formation of such hot quasar bubbles using a cosmological hydrodynamic simulation which includes a self-consistent treatment of black hole growth and associated feedback, along with radiative gas cooling and star formation. From this simulation, we construct microwave maps of the resulting SZ effect around black holes with a range of masses and redshifts. The size of the temperature distortion scales approximately with black hole mass and accretion rate, with a typical amplitude up to a few micro-Kelvin on angular scales around 10 arcsec. We discuss prospects for the direct detection of this signal with current and future single-dish and interferometric observations, including Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) and Cornell Caltech Atacama Telescope (CCAT). These measurements will be challenging, but will allow us to characterize the evolution and growth of supermassive black holes and the role of their energy feedback on galaxy formation.

Keywords: galaxies: active; intergalactic medium; cosmic microwave background

Journal Article.  7033 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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