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      Simulating the joint evolution of quasars, galaxies and their large-scale distribution

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          Abstract

          The cold dark matter model has become the leading theoretical paradigm for the formation of structure in the Universe. Together with the theory of cosmic inflation, this model makes a clear prediction for the initial conditions for structure formation and predicts that structures grow hierarchically through gravitational instability. Testing this model requires that the precise measurements delivered by galaxy surveys can be compared to robust and equally precise theoretical calculations. Here we present a novel framework for the quantitative physical interpretation of such surveys. This combines the largest simulation of the growth of dark matter structure ever carried out with new techniques for following the formation and evolution of the visible components. We show that baryon-induced features in the initial conditions of the Universe are reflected in distorted form in the low-redshift galaxy distribution, an effect that can be used to constrain the nature of dark energy with next generation surveys.

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          Most cited references30

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          Observational Evidence from Supernovae for an Accelerating Universe and a Cosmological Constant

          We present observations of 10 type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) between 0.16 0) and a current acceleration of the expansion (i.e., q_0 0, the spectroscopically confirmed SNe Ia are consistent with q_0 0 at the 3.0 sigma and 4.0 sigma confidence levels, for two fitting methods respectively. Fixing a ``minimal'' mass density, Omega_M=0.2, results in the weakest detection, Omega_Lambda>0 at the 3.0 sigma confidence level. For a flat-Universe prior (Omega_M+Omega_Lambda=1), the spectroscopically confirmed SNe Ia require Omega_Lambda >0 at 7 sigma and 9 sigma level for the two fitting methods. A Universe closed by ordinary matter (i.e., Omega_M=1) is ruled out at the 7 sigma to 8 sigma level. We estimate the size of systematic errors, including evolution, extinction, sample selection bias, local flows, gravitational lensing, and sample contamination. Presently, none of these effects reconciles the data with Omega_Lambda=0 and q_0 > 0.
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            Stellar population synthesis at the resolution of 2003

            We present a new model for computing the spectral evolution of stellar populations at ages between 100,000 yr and 20 Gyr at a resolution of 3 A across the whole wavelength range from 3200 to 9500 A for a wide range of metallicities. These predictions are based on a newly available library of observed stellar spectra. We also compute the spectral evolution across a larger wavelength range, from 91 A to 160 micron, at lower resolution. The model incorporates recent progress in stellar evolution theory and an observationally motivated prescription for thermally-pulsing stars on the asymptotic giant branch. The latter is supported by observations of surface brightness fluctuations in nearby stellar populations. We show that this model reproduces well the observed optical and near-infrared colour-magnitude diagrams of Galactic star clusters of various ages and metallicities. Stochastic fluctuations in the numbers of stars in different evolutionary phases can account for the full range of observed integrated colours of star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds. The model reproduces in detail typical galaxy spectra from the Early Data Release (EDR) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We exemplify how this type of spectral fit can constrain physical parameters such as the star formation history, metallicity and dust content of galaxies. Our model is the first to enable accurate studies of absorption-line strengths in galaxies containing stars over the full range of ages. Using the highest-quality spectra of the SDSS EDR, we show that this model can reproduce simultaneously the observed strengths of those Lick indices that do not depend strongly on element abundance ratios [abridged].
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              First Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Determination of Cosmological Parameters

              WMAP precision data enables accurate testing of cosmological models. We find that the emerging standard model of cosmology, a flat Lambda-dominated universe seeded by nearly scale-invariant adiabatic Gaussian fluctuations, fits the WMAP data. With parameters fixed only by WMAP data, we can fit finer scale CMB measurements and measurements of large scle structure (galaxy surveys and the Lyman alpha forest). This simple model is also consistent with a host of other astronomical measurements. We then fit the model parameters to a combination of WMAP data with other finer scale CMB experiments (ACBAR and CBI), 2dFGRS measurements and Lyman alpha forest data to find the model's best fit cosmological parameters: h=0.71+0.04-0.03, Omega_b h^2=0.0224+-0.0009, Omega_m h^2=0.135+0.008-0.009, tau=0.17+-0.06, n_s(0.05/Mpc)=0.93+-0.03, and sigma_8=0.84+-0.04. WMAP's best determination of tau=0.17+-0.04 arises directly from the TE data and not from this model fit, but they are consistent. These parameters imply that the age of the universe is 13.7+-0.2 Gyr. The data favors but does not require a slowly varying spectral index. By combining WMAP data with other astronomical data sets, we constrain the geometry of the universe, Omega_tot = 1.02 +- 0.02, the equation of state of the dark energy w = -1), and the energy density in stable neutrinos, Omega_nu h^2 < 0.0076 (95% confidence limit). For 3 degenerate neutrino species, this limit implies that their mass is less than 0.23 eV (95% confidence limit). The WMAP detection of early reionization rules out warm dark matter.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                05 April 2005
                2005-04-06
                Article
                10.1038/nature03597
                astro-ph/0504097
                5a8fe69b-d620-4a4e-989c-668170d47eb6
                History
                Custom metadata
                Nature 435:629-636,2005
                Nature, in press, 42 pages, 11 Figures, Supplementary Information included, movie available http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/galform/millennium
                astro-ph

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