Understanding the Circumgalactic Medium Through Hydrodynamic Simulations and Hubble's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph
AuthorFord, Amanda Brady
KeywordsCosmic Origins Spectrograph
Quasar Absorption Lines
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMy dissertation focuses on a relatively new field of study: the region immediately around galaxies known as the circumgalactic medium (CGM). The CGM holds vast quantities of mass and metals, yet its connection to galaxies is not well understood. My work uses cosmological hydrodynamic simulations and comparisons to data from Hubble's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) to understand the CGM's connection to galaxy evolution, gas accretion, outflows, star formation, and baryon cycling. This includes studies of the CGM's extent and physical conditions; the cause and nature of outflows; gas dynamics, including the first comprehensive study of tracers of inflowing and outflowing gas at low redshift (z=0.25); and direct comparison of theoretical results to observational data. Chapter 1 introduces my research and show its connection to galaxy evolution. Chapter 2 investigates hydrogen and metal line absorption around low-redshift galaxies in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. This chapter studies different models for stellar outflows, physical conditions, and dependencies on halo mass. Chapter 3 examines the flow of gas into, out of, and around galaxies using a novel particle tracking technique. This chapter examines the baryon cycle in detail for our preferred model of stellar outflows. Chapter 4 compares our model results, including two separate prescriptions for outflows, with data from COS. We contrast these wind models, showing how they cycle baryons differently, and show degeneracies in observational diagnostics. In Chapter 5, I summarize and discuss plans for future research in this field, and how it can be more fully leveraged to understand galaxy evolution.
Degree ProgramGraduate College