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Title: Modeling the neutral hydrogen distribution in the post-reionization Universe: intensity mapping

We model the distribution of neutral hydrogen (HI) in the post-reionization era and investigate its detectability in 21 cm intensity mapping with future radio telescopes like the Square Kilometer array (SKA). We rely on high resolution hydrodynamical N-body simulations that have a state-of-the-art treatment of the low density photoionized gas in the inter-galactic medium (IGM). The HI is assigned a-posteriori to the gas particles following two different approaches: a halo-based method in which HI is assigned only to gas particles residing within dark matter halos; a particle-based method that assigns HI to all gas particles using a prescription based on the physical properties of the particles. The HI statistical properties are then compared to the observational properties of Damped Lyman-α Absorbers (DLAs) and of lower column density systems and reasonable good agreement is found for all the cases. Among the halo-based method, we further consider two different schemes that aim at reproducing the observed properties of DLAs by distributing HI inside halos: one of this results in a much higher bias for DLAs, in agreement with recent observations, which boosts the 21 cm power spectrum by a factor ∼ 4 with respect to the other recipe. Furthermore, we quantify themore » contribution of HI in the diffuse IGM to both Ω{sub HI} and the HI power spectrum finding to be subdominant in both cases. We compute the 21 cm power spectrum from the simulated HI distribution and calculate the expected signal for both SKA1-mid and SKA1-low configurations at 2.4 ≤ z ≤ 4. We find that SKA will be able to detect the 21 cm power spectrum, in the non-linear regime, up to k ∼ 1 h/Mpc for SKA1-mid and k ∼ 5 h/Mpc for SKA1-low with 100 hours of observations. We also investigate the perspective of imaging the HI distribution. Our findings indicate that SKA1-low could detect the most massive HI peaks with a signal to noise ratio (SNR) higher than 5 for an observation time of about 1000 hours at z = 4, for a synthesized beam width of 2'. Detection at redshifts z≥2.4 with SKA1-mid would instead require a much longer observation time to achieve a comparable SNR level.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22375856
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; Journal Volume: 2014; Journal Issue: 09; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DENSITY; DISTRIBUTION; HYDROGEN; MAPPING; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; PHOTOIONIZATION; RADIO TELESCOPES; RED SHIFT; SIGNALS; SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO; SIMULATION; SPECTRA; UNIVERSE