Over recent decades, cosmological simulations of galaxy formation have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of structure and galaxy formation in the Universe. These simulations follow the nonlinear evolution of galaxies, modelling a variety of physical processes over an enormous range of time and length scales. A better understanding of the relevant physical processes, improved numerical methods and increased computing power have led to simulations that can reproduce a large number of the observed galaxy properties. Modern simulations model dark matter, dark energy and ordinary matter in an expanding space-time starting from well-defined initial conditions. The modelling of ordinary matter is most challenging due to the large array of physical processes affecting this component. Cosmological simulations have also proven useful to study alternative cosmological models and their impact on the galaxy population. This Technical Review presents a concise overview of the methodology of cosmological simulations of galaxy formation and their different applications.
Nature Reviews Physics
- Pub Date:
- January 2020
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- To appear in Nature Reviews Physics. 34 pages, 2 figures, 2 tables