A Physical Model of Lya Emitters

Tivli, Vithal, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Rhoads, James E, Scannapieco, Evan, Thacker, Robert J, Iliev, Ilian T and Mellema, Garrelt (2009) A Physical Model of Lya Emitters. Astrophysical Journal, 704 (1). 724 - 732. ISSN 0004-637X

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We present a simple physical model for populating dark matter halos with Lya emitters (LAEs) and predict the properties of LAEs at z 3-7. The central tenet of this model is that the Lya luminosity is proportional to the star formation rate (SFR) which is directly related to the halo mass accretion rate. The only free parameter in our model is then the star formation efficiency (SFE). An efficiency of 2.5% provides the best fit to the Lya luminosity function (LF) at redshift z = 3.1, and we use this SFE to construct Lya LFs at other redshifts. Our model reproduces the Lya LFs, stellar ages, SFR 1-10 M sun yr1, stellar masses ~107to108 M sun, and the clustering properties of LAEs at z 3-7. We find the spatial correlation lengths ro 3-6 h 1 Mpc, in agreement with the observations. Finally, we estimate the field-to-field variation 30% for current volume and flux limited surveys, again consistent with observations. Our results suggest that the star formation, and hence Lya emission in LAEs can be powered by accretion of new material. Relating the accreted mass, rather than the total mass, to the Lya luminosity of LAEs naturally gives rise to their duty cycle.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Ilian Iliev
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:42
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 02:08
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17815

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