Cosmic Reionization On Computers II. Reionization History [CL]

We compare the results from several sets of cosmological simulations of cosmic reionization, produced under Cosmic Reionization On Computers (CROC) project, with existing observational data on the high-redshift Ly-alpha forest and the abundance of Ly-alpha emitters. We find good consistency with the observational measurements and the previous simulation work. By virtue of having several independent realizations for each set of numerical parameters, we are able to explore the effect of cosmic variance on observable quantities. One unexpected conclusion we are forced into is that cosmic variance is unusually large at z>6, with both our simulations and, most likely, observational measurements are still not fully converged for even such basic quantities as the average Gunn-Peterson optical depth or the volume-weighted neutral fraction.

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N. Gnedin and A. Kaurov
Wed, 19 Mar 14