SimFast21: Simulation of the Cosmological 21cm Signal
Abstract: SimFast 21 generates a simulation of the cosmological 21cm signal. While limited to low spatial resolution, the next generation low-frequency radio interferometers that target 21 cm observations during the era of reionization and prior will have instantaneous fields-of-view that are many tens of square degrees on the sky. Predictions related to various statistical measurements of the 21 cm brightness temperature must then be pursued with numerical simulations of reionization with correspondingly large volume box sizes, of order 1000 Mpc on one side. The authors pursued a semi-numerical scheme to simulate the 21 cm signal during and prior to Reionization by extending a hybrid approach where simulations are performed by first laying down the linear dark matter density field, accounting for the non-linear evolution of the density field based on second-order linear perturbation theory as specified by the Zel'dovich approximation, and then specifying the location and mass of collapsed dark matter halos using the excursion-set formalism. The location of ionizing sources and the time evolving distribution of ionization field is also specified using an excursion-set algorithm. They account for the brightness temperature evolution through the coupling between spin and gas temperature due to collisions, radiative coupling in the presence of Lyman-alpha photons and heating of the intergalactic medium, such as due to a background of X-ray photons. The method is capable of producing the required large volume simulations with adequate resolution in a reasonable time so a large number of realizations can be obtained with variations in assumptions related to astrophysics and background cosmology that govern the 21 cm signal.
Credit: Mario Santos, Luis Ferramacho, Marta Silva, Alexandre Amblard, and Asantha Cooray