MaGICC-WDM: The effects of warm dark matter in hydrodynamical simulations of disc galaxy formation

Jakob Herpich, Gregory S. Stinson, Andrea V. Maccìo, Chris Brook, James Wadsley, Hugh M.P. Couchman, Tom Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the effect of warm dark matter (WDM) on hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy formation as part of the Making Galaxies in a Cosmological Context (MaGICC) project. We simulate three different galaxies using three WDM candidates of 1, 2 and 5 keV and compare results with pure cold dark matter simulations. WDM slightly reduces star formation and produces less centrally concentrated stellar profiles. These effects are most evident for the 1 keV candidate but almost disappear for mWDM > 2 keV. All simulations form similar stellar discs independent of WDM particle mass. In particular, the disc scalelength does not change whenWDMis considered. The reduced amount of star formation in the case of 1 keV particles is due to the effects of WDM on merging satellites which are on average less concentrated and less gas rich. The altered satellites cause a reduced starburst during mergers because they trigger weaker disc instabilities in the main galaxy. Nevertheless we show that disc galaxy evolution is much more sensitive to stellar feedback than it is to WDM candidate mass. Overall, we find that WDM, especially when restricted to current observational constraints (mWDM > 2 keV), has a minor impact on disc galaxy formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-304
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Cosmology: dark matter
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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