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V. Pavlidou (University of Chicago), B. D. Fields (University of illinois)
We present an analytical description of the energetics of the population of cosmic accretion shocks, for a concordance cosmology. We calculate how the shock-processed accretion power and mass current are distributed among different shock Mach numbers, and how they evolve with cosmic time. We calculate the cumulative energy input of cosmic accretion shocks of any Mach number to the intergalactic medium as a function of redshift, and we compare it with the energy output of supernova explosions as well as with the energy input required to reionize the universe. In addition, we investigate and quantify the effect of environmental factors, such as local clustering properties and filament preheating, on the statistical properties of these shocks. We find that the energy processed by accretion shocks becomes more than an order of magnitude higher than the supernova energy output in the local universe. The energy processed by accretion shocks alone becomes comparable to the energy required to reionize the universe by z~3. Finally, we establish both qualitatively and quantitatively that both local clustering as well as filament compression and preheating are important factors in determining the statistical properties of the cosmic accretion shock population.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.