Collaborative Research: CDS&E: Constraining the uncertain physics of galaxy formation: cosmic rays, black holes, and beyond

Project: Research project

Project Details


Over the past ten years, the PIs have developed and analyzed a new set of cosmological simulations of galaxy formation that explicitly model stellar feedback on the scale of individual star-forming regions and resolve the multi-phase interstellar medium (ISM). In these simulations, feedback is directly anchored to stellar evolution models, significantly improving their predictive power by reducing the reliance on adjustable parameters. These simulations form the basis of the FIRE (Feedback in Realistic Environments) project, which the PIs direct and which has since developed into a growing collaboration now over 100 collaborators at 15 institutions. The FIRE simulations have proved extremely successful in simultaneously reproducing a large number of observed galaxy properties, including stellar masses, metallicities, galactic wind and circum-galactic (CGM) properties, and the dark matter distributions of dwarf galaxies. However, most of the simulations so far were limited to galaxies below ~L* and neglected several potentially important physical processes, including magnetic (B) fields, thermal conduction, cosmic rays (CRs), full radiation-hydrodynamics, and black holes (BHs). The FIRE simulation code, GIZMO, has recently been augmented with comprehensive models for these physics, especially CRs, BHs, as well as up-to-date models for nucleosynthetic yields. This proposal will support the production and analysis of a new generation of FIRE simulations that will address new science questions that were not possible to answer with the previous simulations.
Effective start/end date9/1/218/31/24


  • National Science Foundation (AST-2108230)


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