EDP Sciences
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Volume 487, Number 2, August IV 2008
Page(s) 445 - 451
Section Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20079105
Published online 04 June 2008

A&A 487, 445-451 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20079105

Evidence of turbulence-like universality in the formation of galaxy-sized dark matter haloes

C. A. Caretta1, 2, R. R. Rosa2, H. F. de Campos Velho2, F. M. Ramos2, and M. Makler3

1  Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Gto., México
    e-mail: caretta@astro.ugto.mx
2  Lab. Associado de Computação e Matemática Aplicada, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil
3  Coordenação de Cosmologia, Relatividade e Astrofísica, Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 19 November 2007 / Accepted 6 May 2008

Context. Although the theoretical understanding of nonlinear gravitational clustering has greatly advanced in the last decades, in particular by improvements in numerical N-body simulations, the physics behind this process is not fully elucidated.
Aims. The main goal of this work is the study of the possibility of a turbulent-like physical process in the formation of structures, galaxies and clusters of galaxies, by the action of gravity alone.
Methods. We use simulation data from the Virgo Consortium, in ten redshift snapshots (from 0 to 10). From this we identify galaxy-sized and cluster-sized dark matter haloes, by using a FoF algorithm and applying a boundedness criterion, and study the gravitational potential energy spectra.
Results. We find that the galaxy-sized halo energy spectrum follows closely a Kolmogorov power law, similar to the behaviour of dynamically turbulent processes in fluids.
Conclusions. This means that the gravitational clustering of dark matter may admit a turbulent-like representation.

Key words: gravitation -- turbulence -- methods: N-body simulations -- galaxies: structure -- galaxies: evolution -- methods: statistical

© ESO 2008