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The effect of inhomogeneous reionisation on the Lyman-alpha forest power spectrum at redshift z > 4: implications for thermal parameter recovery

Molaro, Margherita; Iršič, Vid; BOLTON, JAMES S.; Keating, Laura C.; Puchwein, Ewald; Gaikwad, Prakash; Haehnelt, Martin G.; Kulkarni, Girish; Viel, Matteo

The effect of inhomogeneous reionisation on the Lyman-alpha forest power spectrum at redshift z > 4: implications for thermal parameter recovery Thumbnail


Authors

Margherita Molaro

Vid Iršič

Laura C. Keating

Ewald Puchwein

Prakash Gaikwad

Martin G. Haehnelt

Girish Kulkarni

Matteo Viel



Abstract

We use the Sherwood–Relics suite of hybrid hydrodynamical and radiative transfer simulations to model the effect of inhomogeneous reionization on the 1D power spectrum of the Lyman α (Lyα) forest transmitted flux at redshifts 4.2 ≤ z ≤ 5. Relative to models that assume a homogeneous ultraviolet background, reionization suppresses the power spectrum at small scales, k ∼ 0.1 km−1 s, by ∼10 per cent because of spatial variations in the thermal broadening kernel and the divergent peculiar velocity field associated with overpressurized intergalactic gas. On larger scales, k<0.03km−1s⁠, the power spectrum is instead enhanced by 10–50 per cent by large-scale spatial variations in the neutral hydrogen fraction. The effect of inhomogeneous reionization must therefore be accounted for in analyses of forthcoming high precision measurements. We provide a correction for the Lyα forest power spectrum at 4.1 ≤ z ≤ 5.4 that can be easily applied within other parameter inference frameworks using similar reionization models. We perform a Bayesian analysis of mock data to assess the extent of systematic biases that may arise in measurements of the intergalactic medium if ignoring this correction. At the scales probed by current high-resolution Lyα forest data at z > 4, 0.006≤k≤0.2km−1s⁠, we find inhomogeneous reionization does not introduce any significant bias in thermal parameter recovery for the current measurement uncertainties of ∼10 per cent. However, for 5 per cent uncertainties, ∼1σ shifts between the estimated and true parameters occur.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 21, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 26, 2021
Publication Date Nov 26, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 25, 2022
Publicly Available Date Mar 28, 2022
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 509
Issue 4
Pages 6119–6137
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab3416
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/6784604
Publisher URL https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article-abstract/509/4/6119/6442273?redirectedFrom=fulltext
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society following peer review. The version of record Margherita Molaro, Vid Iršič, James S Bolton, Laura C Keating, Ewald Puchwein, Prakash Gaikwad, Martin G Haehnelt, Girish Kulkarni, Matteo Viel, The effect of inhomogeneous reionization on the Lyman α forest power spectrum at redshift z > 4: implications for thermal parameter recovery, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 509, Issue 4, February 2022, Pages 6119–6137 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab3416

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