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Capelo, Pedro R.; Bovino, Stefano; Lupi, Alessandro; Schleicher, Dominik R. G.; Grassi, Tommaso (2018): The effect of non-equilibrium metal cooling on the interstellar medium. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 475, No. 3: pp. 3283-3304
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By using a novel interface between the modem smoothed particle hydrodynamics code GASOLINE2 and the chemistry package KROME, we follow the hydrodynamical and chemical evolution of an isolated galaxy. In order to assess the relevance of different physical parameters and prescriptions, we constructed a suite of 10 simulations, in which we vary the chemical network (primordial and metal species), how metal cooling is modelled (non-equilibrium versus equilibrium;optically thin versus thick approximation), the initial gas metallicity (from 10 to 100 per cent solar), and how molecular hydrogen forms on dust. This is the first work in which metal injection from supernovae, turbulent metal diffusion, and a metal network with non-equilibrium metal cooling are self-consistently included in a galaxy simulation. We find that properly modelling the chemical evolution of several metal species and the corresponding non-equilibrium metal cooling has important effects on the thermodynamics of the gas, the chemical abundances, and the appearance of the galaxy: the gas is typically warmer, has a larger molecular-gas mass fraction, and has a smoother disc. We also conclude that, at relatively high metallicity, the choice of molecular-hydrogen formation rates on dust is not crucial. Moreover, we confirm that a higher initial metallicity produces a colder gas and a larger fraction of molecular gas, with the low-metallicity simulation best matching the observed molecular Kennicutt-Schmidt relation. Finally, our simulations agree quite well with observations that link star formation rate to metal emission lines.