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The causal origin of the angular momentum and of the properties of galaxies

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Understanding the origin of galaxy and dark matter properties, and in particular, their angular momentum, is a crucial open problem. Studying statistical correlations in large simulated populations sheds some light, but this approach is intrinsically limited to correlations rather than causal links. In this presentation, I will present recent numerical developments that allow to uncover the causal origin of galaxy and dark matter properties. In particular, I will show that the dark matter angular momentum can be predicted from the initial conditions in the very early Universe. I will also show that half the variation in the concentration of dark matter halos can be attributed to interactions with its cosmological environment. In a second part, I will discuss early results about the causal origin of galactic properties obtained from simulations that also include baryonic physics (cooling, star formation, supernova and AGN feedback).

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Galaxies Discussion Group series.

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