MUFASA: Galaxy formation simulations with meshless hydrodynamics

Romeel S Dave, Robert Thompson, Philip F. Hopkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Scopus citations


We present the MUFASA suite of cosmological hydrodynamic simulations, which employs the GIZMO meshless finite mass (MFM) code including H2-based star formation, nine-element chemical evolution, two-phase kinetic outflows following scalings from the Feedback in Realistic Environments zoom simulations, and evolving halo mass-based quenching. Our fiducial (50 h-1 Mpc)3 volume is evolved to z = 0 with a quarter billion elements. The predicted galaxy stellar mass functions (GSMFs) reproduces observations from z = 4 → 0 to ≲1.2σ in cosmic variance, providing an unprecedented match to this key diagnostic. The cosmic star formation history and stellar mass growth show general agreement with data, with a strong archaeological downsizing trend such that dwarf galaxies form the majority of their stars after z ~ 1. We run 25 and 12.5 h-1 Mpc volumes to z = 2 with identical feedback prescriptions, the latter resolving all hydrogen-cooling haloes, and the three runs display fair resolution convergence. The specific star formation rates broadly agree with data at z = 0, but are underpredicted at z ~ 2 by a factor of 3, re-emphasizing a longstanding puzzle in galaxy evolution models. We compare runs usingMFM and two flavours of smoothed particle hydrodynamics, and show that the GSMF is sensitive to hydrodynamics methodology at the ~×2 level, which is sub-dominant to choices for parametrizing feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberstw1862
Pages (from-to)3265-3284
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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