Astrophys. J., 777, 48 (2013/November-1)
Turbulence in the intergalactic medium: solenoidal and dilatational motions and the impact of numerical viscosity.
ZHU W., FENG L.-L., XIA Y., SHU C.-W., GU Q. and FANG L.-Z.
Abstract (from CDS):
We use a suite of cosmological hydrodynamical simulations, run by two fixed grid codes, to investigate the properties of solenoidal and dilatational motions of the intergalactic medium (IGM) and the impact of numerical viscosity on turbulence in an ΛCDM universe. The codes differ only in the spatial difference discretization. We find that (1) The vortical motion grows rapidly since z = 2 and reaches ∼10 km/s-90 km/s at z = 0. Meanwhile, the small-scale compressive ratio rCS drops from 0.84 to 0.47, indicating comparable vortical and compressive motions at z = 0. (2) Power spectra of the solenoidal velocity possess two regimes, ∝k –0.89 and ∝k –2.02, while the total and dilatational velocity follow the scaling k.–1.88 and k –2.20, respectively, in the turbulent range. The IGM turbulence may contain two distinct phases, the supersonic and post-supersonic phases. (3) The non-thermal pressure support, measured by the vortical kinetic energy, is comparable with the thermal pressure for ρb≃ 10-100, or T < 105.5 K at z = 0.0. The deviation of the baryon fraction from the cosmic mean shows a preliminary positive correlation with the turbulence pressure support. (4) A relatively higher numerical viscosity would dissipate both the compressive and vortical motions of the IGM into thermal energy more effectively, resulting in less developed vorticity, remarkably shortened inertial range, and leading to a non-negligible uncertainty in the thermal history of gas accretion. Shocks in regions outside of clusters are significantly suppressed by numerical viscosity since z = 2, which may directly cause the different levels of turbulence between the two codes.
cosmology: theory - intergalactic medium - large-scale structure of universe - methods: numerical
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