The phase-diagram of cosmological baryons
Service de Physique Théorique, CEN Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
2 Astrophysics, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH, UK
Corresponding author: P. Valageas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 5 April 2002
We investigate the behaviour of cosmological baryons at low redshifts after reionization, through analytic means. In particular, we study the density-temperature phase-diagram that describes the history of the gas. We show how the location of the matter in this diagram expresses the various constraints implied by usual hierarchical scenarios. This yields robust model-independent results that agree with numerical simulations. The IGM is seen to be formed via two phases: a “cool” photo-ionized component and a “warm” component governed by shock-heating. We also briefly describe how the remainder of the matter is distributed over galaxies, groups and clusters. We recover the fraction of matter and the spatial clustering computed by numerical simulations. We also check that the soft X-ray background due to the “warm” IGM component is consistent with observations. We find in the present universe a baryon fraction of 7% in hot gas, 24% in the warm IGM, 38% in the cool IGM, 9% within star-like objects and, as a still un-observed component, 22% of dark baryons associated with collapsed structures, with a relative uncertainty no larger than 30% on these numbers.
Key words: cosmology: theory / large-scale structure of Universe / galaxies: intergalactic medium
© ESO, 2002