Friday, July 5, 2013

1307.1295 (Joaquin Prieto et al.)

Over-cooled haloes at z > 10: a route to form low-mass first stars    [PDF]

Joaquin Prieto, Raul Jimenez, Licia Verde
It has been shown by Shchekinov & Vasiliev2006 (SV06) that HD molecules can be an important cooling agent in high redshift z >10 haloes if they undergo mergers under specific conditions so suitable shocks are created. Here we build upon Prieto et al. (2012) who studied in detail the merger-generated shocks, and show that the conditions for HD cooling can be studied by combining these results with a suite of dark-matter only simulations. We have performed a number of dark matter only simulations from cosmological initial conditions inside boxes with sizes from 1 to 4 Mpc. We look for haloes with at least two progenitors of which at least one has mass M > M_cr (z), where M_cr (z) is the SV06 critical mass for HD over-cooling. We find that the fraction of over-cooled haloes with mass between M_cr (z) and 10^{0.2} M_cr (z), roughly below the atomic cooling limit, can be as high as ~ 0.6 at z ~ 10 depending on the merger mass ratio. This fraction decreases at higher redshift reaching a value ~0.2 at z ~ 15. For higher masses, i.e. above 10^{0.2} M_cr (z) up to 10^{0.6} M_cr (z), above the atomic cooling limit, this fraction rises to values ~ 0.8 until z ~ 12.5. As a consequence, a non negligible fraction of high redshift z > 10 mini-haloes can drop their gas temperature to the Cosmic Microwave Background temperature limit allowing the formation of low mass stars in primordial environments.
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