Journal Article

Fast large-scale reionization simulations

Rajat M. Thomas, Saleem Zaroubi, Benedetta Ciardi, Andreas H. Pawlik, Panagiotis Labropoulos, Vibor Jelić, Gianni Bernardi, Michiel A. Brentjens, A. G. De Bruyn, Geraint J. A. Harker, Leon V. E. Koopmans, Garrelt Mellema, V. N. Pandey, Joop Schaye and Sarod Yatawatta

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 393, issue 1, pages 32-48
Published in print February 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14206.x
Fast large-scale reionization simulations

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We present an efficient method to generate large simulations of the epoch of reionization without the need for a full three-dimensional radiative transfer code. Large dark-matter-only simulations are post-processed to produce maps of the redshifted 21-cm emission from neutral hydrogen. Dark matter haloes are embedded with sources of radiation whose properties are either based on semi-analytical prescriptions or derived from hydrodynamical simulations. These sources could either be stars or power-law sources with varying spectral indices. Assuming spherical symmetry, ionized bubbles are created around these sources, whose radial ionized fraction and temperature profiles are derived from a catalogue of one-dimensional radiative transfer experiments. In case of overlap of these spheres, photons are conserved by redistributing them around the connected ionized regions corresponding to the spheres. The efficiency with which these maps are created allows us to span the large parameter space typically encountered in reionization simulations. We compare our results with other, more accurate, three-dimensional radiative transfer simulations and find excellent agreement for the redshifts and the spatial scales of interest to upcoming 21-cm experiments. We generate a contiguous observational cube spanning redshift 6 to 12 and use these simulations to study the differences in the reionization histories between stars and quasars. Finally, the signal is convolved with the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) beam response and its effects are analysed and quantified. Statistics performed on this mock data set shed light on possible observational strategies for LOFAR.

Keywords: quasars: general; cosmology: observation; cosmology: theory; diffuse radiation; radio lines: general

Journal Article.  11134 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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