Get access

Gas stripping and mixing in galaxy clusters: a numerical comparison study


  • Steffen Heß,

    Corresponding author
    1. Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics, Potsdam, Germany
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Garching bei München, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Volker Springel

    1. Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, Heidelberg, Germany
    2. Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Astronomisches Recheninstitut, Heidelberg, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author



The ambient hot intrahalo gas in clusters of galaxies is constantly fed and stirred by infalling galaxies, a process that can be studied in detail with cosmological hydrodynamical simulations. However, different numerical methods yield discrepant predictions for crucial hydrodynamical processes, leading for example to different entropy profiles in clusters of galaxies. In particular, the widely used Lagrangian smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) scheme is suspected to strongly damp fluid instabilities and turbulence, which are both crucial to establish the thermodynamic structure of clusters. In this study, we test to which extent our recently developed Voronoi particle hydrodynamics (VPH) scheme yields different results for the stripping of gas out of infalling galaxies and for the bulk gas properties of cluster. We consider both the evolution of isolated galaxy models that are exposed to a stream of intracluster medium or are dropped into cluster models, as well as non-radiative cosmological simulations of cluster formation. We also compare our particle-based method with results obtained with a fundamentally different discretization approach as implemented in the moving-mesh code arepo. We find that VPH leads to noticeably faster stripping of gas out of galaxies than SPH, in better agreement with the mesh-code than with SPH. We show that despite the fact that VPH in its present form is not as accurate as the moving mesh code in our investigated cases, its improved accuracy of gradient estimates makes VPH an attractive alternative to SPH.

Get access to the full text of this article