Journal Article

<span class="smallCaps">21cmfast</span>: a fast, seminumerical simulation of the high-redshift 21-cm signal

Andrei Mesinger, Steven Furlanetto and Renyue Cen

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 411, issue 2, pages 955-972
Published in print February 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
21cmfast: a fast, seminumerical simulation of the high-redshift 21-cm signal

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We introduce a powerful seminumeric modelling tool, 21cmfast, designed to efficiently simulate the cosmological 21-cm signal. Our code generates 3D realizations of evolved density, ionization, peculiar velocity and spin temperature fields, which it then combines to compute the 21-cm brightness temperature. Although the physical processes are treated with approximate methods, we compare our results to a state-of-the-art large-scale hydrodynamic simulation, and find good agreement on scales pertinent to the upcoming observations (≳1 Mpc). The power spectra from 21cmfast agree with those generated from the numerical simulation to within 10s of per cent, down to the Nyquist frequency. We show results from a 1-Gpc simulation which tracks the cosmic 21-cm signal down from z= 250, highlighting the various interesting epochs. Depending on the desired resolution, 21cmfast can compute a redshift realization on a single processor in just a few minutes. Our code is fast, efficient, customizable and publicly available, making it a useful tool for 21-cm parameter studies.

Keywords: methods: numerical; galaxies: high redshift; dark ages, reionization, first stars; diffuse radiation; early Universe; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  12626 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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