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Gas Accretion and Angular Momentum

  • Kyle R. StewartEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 430)

Abstract

In this chapter, we review the role of gas accretion to the acquisition of angular momentum, both in galaxies and in their gaseous halos. We begin by discussing angular momentum in dark matter halos, with a brief review of tidal torque theory and the importance of mergers, followed by a discussion of the canonical picture of galaxy formation within this framework, where halo gas is presumed to shock-eat to the virial temperature of the halo, following the same spin distribution as the dark matter halo before cooling to the center of the halo to form a galaxy there. In the context of recent observational evidence demonstrating the presence of high angular momentum gas in galaxy halos, we review recent cosmological hydrodynamic simulations that have begun to emphasize the role of “cold flow” accretion—anisotropic gas accretion along cosmic filaments that does not shock-heat before sinking to the central galaxy. We discuss the implications of these simulations, reviewing a number of recent developments in the literature, and suggest a revision to the canonical model as it relates to the expected angular momentum content of gaseous halos around galaxies.

Keywords

Angular Momentum Dark Matter Galactic Disk Galaxy Formation Dark Matter Halo 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

KRS thanks Ari Maller for providing useful comments and discussions.

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesCalifornia Baptist UniversityRiversideUSA

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