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Formation of the first stars and galaxies in a fuzzy dark matter cosmology

Presentation #207.02 in the session Evolution of Galaxies III.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Formation of the first stars and galaxies in a fuzzy dark matter cosmology

Fuzzy dark matter (FDM) or wave dark matter is made up of ultra-light axions (m ~ 10-22 eV) and is a proposed alternative to the standard cold dark matter with a cutoff at the small scales in the power spectrum. Observational signatures of the first stars and galaxies can be used to put strong constraints on the axion mass because of their delayed formation in an FDM cosmology. In this work, we study the formation of the first stars and galaxies in an FDM cosmology using cosmological hydrodynamical simulations with the grid-based code Enzo which accurately evolves FDM by solving the Schrödinger-Poisson equations. These simulations are the first of their kind to include FDM and a treatment of gas chemistry and cooling taking all of the primordial species into account, using the adaptive mesh refinement (AMR). In these simulations, the first stars form in a dense sheet of gas spread over 15-20 kpc and with a thickness of 1 kpc at z = 10. The geometry of this region results in a large number of stars forming with minimal feedback effects. These massive first galaxies could possibly be detected with the James Webb Space Telescope and be used to constrain the properties of the FDM.

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