Document Detail

Lighting the universe with filaments.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17872439     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
The first stars in the universe form when chemically pristine gas heats as it falls into dark-matter potential wells, cools radiatively because of the formation of molecular hydrogen, and becomes self-gravitating. Using supercomputer simulations, we demonstrated that the stars' properties depend critically on the currently unknown nature of the dark matter. If the dark-matter particles have intrinsic velocities that wipe out small-scale structure, then the first stars form in filaments with lengths on the order of the free-streaming scale, which can be approximately 10(20) meters (approximately 3 kiloparsecs, corresponding to a baryonic mass of approximately 10(7) solar masses) for realistic "warm dark matter" candidates. Fragmentation of the filaments forms stars with a range of masses, which may explain the observed peculiar element abundance pattern of extremely metal-poor stars, whereas coalescence of fragments and stars during the filament's ultimate collapse may seed the supermassive black holes that lurk in the centers of most massive galaxies.
Liang Gao; Tom Theuns
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  317     ISSN:  1095-9203     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  2007 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-09-17     Completed Date:  2007-10-01     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1527-30     Citation Subset:  -    
Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.
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Comment In:
Science. 2007 Sep 14;317(5844):1511-2   [PMID:  17872435 ]

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