IllustrisTNG and insights about the evolution of galaxies in different environments
December 20th, 2018
I will describe the numerical efforts to simulate galaxies with the moving-mesh code AREPO across an unprecedented range of halo masses, environments, evolutionary stages and cosmic times. In particular, I will focus on the IllustrisTNG project (www.tng-project.org <http://www.tng-project.org>), a series of three gravity+magnetohydrodynamics cosmological volumes of 50, 100, and 300 Mpc a side, respectively, in a LCDM cosmology. With these, we are capable of both resolving the inner structures of galaxies as small as the classical dwarfs of the Milky Way, as well as of sampling the large scale structure of the Universe with thousands among massive groups and clusters of galaxies. I will discuss what is explicitly and empirically solved in gravity+magnetohydrodynamics simulations for galaxy formation in a cosmological context and what is required and what it means to “successfully” reproduce populations of galaxies which resemble the real ones. I will therefore show novel insights allowed by the new simulations, ranging from the assembly of the most massive structures in the Universe, to the effects of baryons of the phase-space properties of dark matter and to the changes in the star-formation activity and morphological mix of galaxies at early epochs.