• neutrinos;
  • methods: N-body simulations;
  • methods: numerical;
  • dark matter


N-body simulations of cold dark matter (CDM) have shown that, in this hierarchical structure formation model, dark matter halo properties, such as the density profile, the phase-space density profile, the distribution of axial ratio, the distribution of spin parameter and the distribution of internal specific angular momentum, follow ‘universal’ laws or distributions. Here, we study the properties of the first generation of haloes in a hot dark matter (HDM) dominated universe, as an example of halo formation through monolithic collapse. We find all these universalities to be present in this case also. Halo density profiles are very well fit by the Navarro, Frenk & White profile over two orders of magnitude in mass. The concentration parameter depends on mass as cM0.2, reversing the dependence found in a hierarchical CDM universe. However, the concentration–formation time relation is similar in the two cases: earlier forming haloes tend to be more concentrated than their later forming counterparts. Halo formation histories are also characterized by two phases in the HDM case: an early phase of rapid accretion followed by slower growth. Furthermore, there is no significant difference between the HDM and CDM cases concerning the statistics of other halo properties: the phase-space density profile; the velocity anisotropy profile; the distribution of shape parameters; the distribution of spin parameter and the distribution of internal specific angular momentum are all similar in the two cases. Only substructure content differs dramatically. These results indicate that mergers do not play a pivotal role in establishing the universalities, thus contradicting models which explain them as consequences of mergers.