Estimates of the metagalactic hydrogen ionization rate from the Lyalpha forest opacity in QSO absorption spectra depend on the complex density distribution of neutral hydrogen along the line of sight. We use a large suite of high- resolution hydrodynamical simulations to investigate in detail the dependence of such estimates on physical and numerical parameters in the context of CDM models. Adopting fiducial values for cosmological parameters together with published values of the temperature of the IGM and the effective optical depth, the metagalactic ionization rates that reproduce the Lyalpha effective optical depth at z = [2, 3, 4] are Gamma(HI) = [1.3+/-(0.8)(0.5),0.9+/-0.3,1.0+/-(0.5)(0.3)]x10(-12)s(-1) respectively. The errors include estimates of uncertainties in the relevant physical parameters and the numerical accuracy of the simulations. We find the errors are dominated by the uncertainty in the temperature of the low- density IGM. The estimated metagalactic hydrogen ionization rate for the neutral hydrogen distribution in the current concordance CDM model is more than four times the value inferred for that in an Einstein- de Sitter model of the same rms- density- fluctuation amplitude sigma8. The estimated ionization rate is also more than double that expected from updated estimates of the emissivity of observed QSOs alone. A substantial contribution from galaxies appears to be required at all redshifts.
|Titolo:||The Lyman-alpha forest opacity and the metagalactic hydrogen ionization rate at z~2-4|
|Autori:||Bolton, J; HAEHNELT M., G; Viel, Matteo; Springel, V.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2005|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.08704.x|
|Fulltext via DOI:||10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.08704.x|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|