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Paper: The Growth of Dark-Matter Halos. The Effects of Accretion and Mergers
Volume: 176, Observational Cosmology: The Development of Galaxy Systems
Page: 430
Authors: Salvador-Solé, E.; Manrique, A.; Solanes, J. M.
Abstract: High resolution cosmological N-body simulations show that the density profiles of dark matter halos in hierarchical cosmogonies are universal, with low mass halos typically denser than more massive ones. This mass-density correlation is interpreted as reflecting the earlier formation of less massive objects. We investigate this hypothesis in the light of formation times defined as the epoch at which halos experience their last major merger. We find that the characteristic density and the scale radius of halos are essentially proportional, respectively, to the critical density of the universe and the virial radius at the time of their formation. These two relations are consistent with the following simple evolutionary picture. Violent relaxation caused by major mergers rearrange the structure of halos leading to a universal dimensionless density profile. Between major mergers, halos gradually grow through the accretion of surrounding layers by keeping the central part steady and only expanding their virial radius as the critical density of the universe diminishes.
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