Nonlinear evolution of dark matter subhalos and applications to warm dark matter

Anthony R. Pullen, Andrew J. Benson, Leonidas A. Moustakas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We describe the methodology to include nonlinear evolution, including tidal effects, in the computation of subhalo distribution properties in both cold (CDM) and warm (WDM) dark matter universes. Using semi-analytic modeling, we include effects from dynamical friction, tidal stripping, and tidal heating, allowing us to dynamically evolve the subhalo distribution. We calibrate our nonlinear evolution scheme to the CDM subhalo mass function in the Aquarius N-body simulation, producing a subhalo mass function within the range of simulations. We find tidal effects to be the dominant mechanism of nonlinear evolution in the subhalo population. Finally, we compute the subhalo mass function for mχ = 1.5 keV WDM including the effects of nonlinear evolution, and compare radial number densities and mass density profiles of subhalos in CDM and WDM models. We show that all three signatures differ between the two dark matter models, suggesting that probes of substructure may be able to differentiate between them.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number24
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


    • cosmology: theory
    • dark matter
    • galaxies: formation
    • galaxies: halos

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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