structure formation




physics, mathematical physics, philosophy of physics

Surveys, textbooks and lecture notes

theory (physics), model (physics)

experiment, measurement, computable physics



In the context of cosmology, structure formation refers to the process by which cosmological structures such as galaxy clusters form under gravitational collapse of a primordial gas.

Various computer simulations (Millenium I, Millenium II, Millenium XXL, Illustris) test theory against observations, such as those by the Planck Collaboration, see Springel 13 for survey.

graphics from The Millenium Simulation Project

From Vogelsberger et al. 14:

The simulation reproduces reasonably well the cosmic star formation rate density, the galaxy luminosity function, and baryon conversion efficiency at z=0z=0. It also qualitatively captures the impact of galaxy environment on the red fractions of galaxies. The internal velocity structure of selected well-resolved disk galaxies obeys the stellar and baryonic Tully-Fisher relation together with flat circular velocity curves. In the well-resolved regime the simulation reproduces the observed mix of early-type and late-type galaxies.

See also Illustris Project Website: What are we learning? and Preliminary Results.

For structure on galactic scales (such as galaxy rotation curves and Tully-Fisher relation) there is see FIRE, see Hopkins et al 17/


Review includes

  • Joel Primack, Dark Matter and Structure Formation in the Universe, Chapter 1 of Formation of Structure in the Universe, Proceedings of the Jerusalem Winter School 1996, edited by A. Dekel and J.P. Ostriker (arXiv:astro-ph/9707285)

  • Daniel Baumann, The big bang and the origin of structure, 2019 (web)

Galaxy formation:

  • Julio Navarro, Simulations of Galaxy Formation: the State of the Art (pdf)

  • Justin Read et al. EDGE I: the mass-metallicity relation as a critical test of galaxy formation physics (arXiv:1904.02723)

See also

Computer simulation

There are various computer simulations for structure formation, listed below. Review includes the following:

Millenium Project

Millenium I
Millenium II
  • Michael Boylan-Kolchin, Volker Springel, Simon D. M. White, Adrian Jenkins, Gerard Lemson, Resolving Cosmic Structure Formation with the Millennium-II Simulation, Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc.398:1150, 2009 (arXiv:0903.3041)
Millenium XXL
  • The Millennium-XXL Project: Simulating the Galaxy Population of dark Energy Universes (pdf)

  • R. E. Angulo, V. Springel, S. D. M. White, A. Jenkins, C. M. Baugh, C. S. Frenk, Scaling relations for galaxy clusters in the Millennium-XXL simulation, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 426, Issue 3, 1 November 2012, Pages 2046–2062, (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21830.x, arXiv:1203.3216)

Illustris Project

  • Illustris Project Website

  • Wikipedia, Illustris project

  • Mark Vogelsberger, Shy Genel, Volker Springel, Paul Torrey, Debora Sijacki, Dandan Xu, Greg Snyder, Dylan Nelson, Lars Hernquist, Introducing the Illustris Project: simulating the coevolution of dark and visible matter in the Universe (arXiv:1405.2921)


galaxy formation

galactic rotation curves qualitatively reproduced in Hopkins 17, Figure 4, Figure 5

baryonic Tully-Fisher relation qualitatively reproduced in El-Badry 18, Figure 4

  • Daniel Angles-Alcazar, Multi-scale physical modeling in galaxy formation and evolution, 2019 (web)

Last revised on April 8, 2019 at 10:26:57. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.