Internal dark matter structure of the most massive galaxy clusters

A. M.C. Le Brun, M. Arnaud, G. W. Pratt, R. Teyssier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We investigate the evolution of the dark matter density profiles of the most massive galaxy clusters in the Universe. Using a 'zoom-in' procedure on a large suite of cosmological simulations of total comoving volume of 3 (h−1 Gpc)3, we study the 25 most massive clusters in four redshift slices from z ∼ 1 to the present. The minimum mass is M500 > 5.5 × 1014 M⊙ at z = 1. Each system has more than two million particles within r500. Once scaled to the critical density at each redshift, the dark matter profiles within r500 are strikingly similar from z ∼ 1 to the present day, exhibiting a low dispersion of 0.15 dex, and showing little evolution with redshift in the radial logarithmic slope and scatter. They have the running power-law shape typical of the Navarro-Frenk-White type profiles, and their inner structure, resolved to 3.8 h−1 comoving kpc at z = 1, shows no signs of converging to an asymptotic slope. Our results suggest that this type of profile is already in place at z > 1 in the highest-mass haloes in the Universe, and that it remains exceptionally robust to merging activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L69-L73
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Cosmology: miscellaneous
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: structure
  • Large-scale structure of Universe


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