Journal Article

Fast large volume simulations of the 21-cm signal from the reionization and pre-reionization epochs

M. G. Santos, L. Ferramacho, M. B. Silva, A. Amblard and A. Cooray

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 406, issue 4, pages 2421-2432
Published in print August 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16898.x
Fast large volume simulations of the 21-cm signal from the reionization and pre-reionization epochs

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While limited to low spatial resolution, the next-generation low-frequency radio interferometers that target 21-cm observations during the era of reionization and prior will have instantaneous fields of view that are many tens of deg2 on the sky. Predictions related to various statistical measurements of the 21-cm brightness temperature must then be pursued with numerical simulations of reionization with correspondingly large volume box sizes, of the order of 1000 Mpc on one side. We pursue a semi-numerical scheme to simulate the 21-cm signal during and prior to reionization by extending a hybrid approach where simulations are performed by first laying down the linear dark matter density field, accounting for the non-linear evolution of the density field based on second-order linear perturbation theory as specified by the Zel'dovich approximation, and then specifying the location and mass of collapsed dark matter haloes using the excursion-set formalism. The location of ionizing sources and the time evolving distribution of ionization field is also specified using an excursion-set algorithm. We account for the brightness temperature evolution through the coupling between spin and gas temperature due to collisions, radiative coupling in the presence of Lyman α photons and heating of the intergalactic medium, such as due to a background of X-ray photons. The hybrid simulation method we present is capable of producing the required large volume simulations with adequate resolution in a reasonable time, so a large number of realizations can be obtained with variations in assumptions related to astrophysics and background cosmology that govern the 21-cm signal.

Keywords: methods: numerical; cosmology: theory; early Universe; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  8070 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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