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Major Mergers Going Notts: Challenges for Modern Halo Finders

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posted on 2015-10-20, 11:24 authored by P. Behroozi, A. Knebe, F. R. Pearce, P. Elahi, J. Han, H. Lux, Y-Y. Mao, Stuart Iain Muldrew, D. Potter, C. Srisawat
Merging haloes with similar masses (i.e., major mergers) pose significant challenges for halo finders. We compare five halo finding algorithms' (AHF, HBT, Rockstar, SubFind, and VELOCIraptor) recovery of halo properties for both isolated and cosmological major mergers. We find that halo positions and velocities are often robust, but mass biases exist for every technique. The algorithms also show strong disagreement in the prevalence and duration of major mergers, especially at high redshifts (z>1). This raises significant uncertainties for theoretical models that require major mergers for, e.g., galaxy morphology changes, size changes, or black hole growth, as well as for finding Bullet Cluster analogues. All finders not using temporal information also show host halo and subhalo relationship swaps over successive timesteps, requiring careful merger tree construction to avoid problematic mass accretion histories. We suggest that future algorithms should combine phase-space and temporal information to avoid the issues presented.

History

Citation

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2015 454 (3): 3020-3029.

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Publisher

Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society

issn

0035-8711

eissn

1365-2966

Acceptance date

2015-08-31

Copyright date

2015

Available date

2015-10-20

Publisher version

https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article/454/3/3020/1194717/Major-mergers-going-Notts-challenges-for-modern

Language

en

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