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Structural and dynamical properties of galaxies in a hierarchical Universe: sizes and specific angular momenta

Abstract : We use a state-of-the-art semi-analytic model to study the size and the specific angular momentum of galaxies. Our model includes a specific treatment for the angular momentum exchange between different galactic components. Disc scale radii are estimated from the angular momentum of the gaseous/stellar disc, while bulge sizes are estimated assuming energy conservation. The predicted size-mass and angular momentum-mass relations are in fair agreement with observational measurements in the local Universe, provided a treatment for gas dissipation during major mergers is included. Our treatment for disc instability leads to unrealistically small radii of bulges formed through this channel, and predicts an offset between the size-mass relations of central and satellite early-type galaxies, that is not observed. The model reproduces the observed dependence of the size-mass relation on morphology, and predicts a strong correlation between specific angular momentum and cold gas content. This correlation is a natural consequence of galaxy evolution: gas-rich galaxies reside in smaller haloes, and form stars gradually until present day, while gas-poor ones reside in massive haloes, that formed most of their stars at early epochs, when the angular momentum of their parent haloes is low. The dynamical and structural properties of galaxies can be strongly affected by a different treatment for stellar feedback, as this would modify their star formation history. A higher angular momentum for gas accreted through rapid mode does not affect significantly the properties of massive galaxies today, but has a more important effect on low-mass galaxies at higher redshift.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 8, 2022 - 3:44:00 PM
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Anna Zoldan, Gabriella de Lucia, Lizhi Xie, Fabio Fontanot, Michaela Hirschmann. Structural and dynamical properties of galaxies in a hierarchical Universe: sizes and specific angular momenta. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2018, 481, pp.1376-1400. ⟨10.1093/mnras/sty2343⟩. ⟨insu-03747678⟩

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