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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rotation curve mass modeling of disk galaxies Dutton, Aaron Ambrose


The standard Cold Dark Matter (CDM) model for cosmological structure formation has been remarkably successful in explaining the observed large scale structure of the universe. At the scale of individual galaxies, however, CDM faces serious challenges; one of these is the apparent discrepancy between the steep density profiles found in cosmological N-body simulations and the flatter density profiles inferred from optical rotation curves of low surface brightness galaxies. We have developed a new comprehensive rotation curve mass modeling decomposition code and tested it on 6 mass modeling standards, previously studied by Blais-Ouellette (2000). Our decompositions allow for all cosmologically-motivated types of halos, thin or thick disks, variable disk M/L ratio, adiabatic contraction of the dark halo, and non-spherical halos. We investigate the allowed range of inner density profile shapes as a function of disk M/L ratio. This program is being developed for an upcoming application to a new sample of 24 high and low surface brightness galaxies with wide-field optical/IR imaging and high-resolution long-slit Ho; rotation curves.

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