Signatures of Dark Matter Halo Expansion in Galaxy Populations

Research paper by Chris B. Brook, Arianna Di Cintio

Indexed on: 30 Jul '15Published on: 30 Jul '15Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies


Dark matter cores within galaxy haloes can be formed by energy feedback from star forming regions: an energy balance suggests that the maximum core formation efficiency arises in galaxies with M$_{\star}\sim10^{8.5}$M$_{\odot}$. We show that a model population of galaxies, in which the density profile has been modified by such baryonic feedback, is able to explain the observed galaxy velocity function and Tully-Fisher relations significantly better than a model in which a universal cuspy density profile is assumed. Alternative models, namely warm or self-interacting dark matter, also provide a better match to these observed relations than a universal profile model does, but make different predictions for how halo density profiles vary with mass compared to the baryonic feedback case. We propose that different core formation mechanisms may be distinguished based on the imprint they leave on galaxy populations over a wide range of mass. Within the current observational data we find evidence of the expected signatures of the mass dependence of core formation generated by baryonic feedback.