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Dr Maxime Delorme

Scientific programmer
+44 (0)1483 689291
15 BC 03

Academic and research departments

Astrophysics Research Group.


Research projects

My publications


Nasim Imran, Gualandris Alessia, Read Justin, Dehnen Walter, Delorme Maxime, Antonini Fabio Defeating stochasticity: coalescence timescales of massive black holes in galaxy mergers, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press
The coalescence of massive black hole binaries (BHBs) in galactic mergers is the primary source of gravitational waves (GWs) at low frequencies. Current estimates of GW detection rates for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna and the Pulsar Timing Array vary by three orders of magnitude. To understand this variation, we simulate the merger of equal-mass, eccentric, galaxy pairs with central massive black holes and shallow inner density cusps. We model the formation and hardening of a central BHB using the Fast Multiple Method as a force solver, which features a O¹Nº scaling with the number N of particles and obtains results equivalent to direct-summation simulations. At N 5105, typical for contemporary studies, the eccentricity of the BHBs can vary significantly for different random realisations of the same initial condition, resulting in a substantial variation of the merger timescale. This scatter owes to the stochasticity of stellar encounters with the BHB and decreases with increasing N. We estimate that N 107 within the stellar half-light radius suffices to reduce the scatter in the merger timescale to 10%. Our results suggest that at least some of the uncertainty in low-frequency GW rates owes to insufficient numerical resolution.
Preston Janet, Collins Michelle L M, Ibata Rodrigo A, Tollerud Erik J, Rich R Michael, Bonaca Ana, McConnachie Alan W, Mackey Dougal, Lewis Geraint F, Martin Nicolas F, Peñarrubia Jorge, Chapman Scott C, Delorme Maxime (2019)A Dwarf Disrupting - Andromeda XXVII and the North West Stream, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
We present a kinematic and spectroscopic analysis of 38 red giant branch stars, in 7 fields, spanning the dwarf spheroidal galaxy Andromeda XXVII and the upper segment of the North West Stream. Both features are located in the outer halo of the Andromeda galaxy at a projected radius of 50-80 kpc, with the stream extending for ∼3° on the sky. Our data is obtained as part of the PAndAS survey and enables us to confirm that Andromeda XXVII’s heliocentric distance is 827 ± 47 kpc and spectroscopic metallicity is -2.1+0.4−0.5⁠. We also re-derive Andromeda XXVII’s kinematic properties, measuring a systemic velocity = -526.1+10.0−11.0 kms−1 and a velocity dispersion that we find to be non-Gaussian but for which we derive a formal value of 27.0+2.2−3.9 kms−1. In the upper segment of the North West Stream we measure mean values for the metallicity = -1.8±0.4, systemic velocity = -519.4 ±4.0 kms−1 and velocity dispersion = 10.0±4.0 kms−1. We also detect a velocity gradient of 1.7±0.3 kms−1 kpc−1 on an infall trajectory towards M31. With a similar gradient, acting in the same direction, in the lower segment we suggest that the North West Stream is not a single structure. As the properties of the upper segment of the North West Stream and Andromeda XXVII are consistent within 90% confidence limits, it is likely that the two are related and plausible that Andromeda XXVII is the progenitor of this stream.
Sand David J., Strader Jay, Willman Beth, Gregory Alexandra L., Collins Michelle L. M., Erkal Denis, Tollerud Erik, Delorme Maxime, Hill Lewis Uncovering the Orbit of the Hercules Dwarf Galaxy, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press (OUP)
We present new chemo{kinematics of the Hercules dwarf galaxy based on Keck II{ DEIMOS spectroscopy. Our 21 conrmed members, including 9 newly con- rmed members, have a systemic velocity of vHerc = 46:4 1:3 kms
Rojas-Nino A, Read Justin, Aguilar A, Delorme Maxime (2016)An efficient positive potential-density pair expansion for modelling galaxies, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society459(3)pp. 3349-3355 Oxford University Press
We present a novel positive potential-density pair expansion for modelling galaxies, based on the Miyamoto–Nagai disc. By using three sets of such discs, each one of them aligned along each symmetry axis, we are able to reconstruct a broad range of potentials that correspond to density profiles from exponential discs to 3D power-law models with varying triaxiality (henceforth simply ‘twisted’ models). We increase the efficiency of our expansion by allowing the scalelength parameter of each disc to be negative. We show that, for suitable priors on the scalelength and scaleheight parameters, these ‘MNn discs’ (Miyamoto–Nagai negative) have just one negative density minimum. This allows us to ensure global positivity by demanding that the total density at the global minimum is positive. We find that at better than 10 per cent accuracy in our density reconstruction, we can represent a radial and vertical exponential disc over 0.1–10 scalelengths/scaleheights with four MNn discs; a Navarro, Frenk and White (NFW) profile over 0.1–10 scalelengths with four MNn discs; and a twisted triaxial NFW profile with three MNn discs per symmetry axis. Our expansion is efficient, fully analytic, and well suited to reproducing the density distribution and gravitational potential of galaxies from discs to ellipsoids.
Contenta Filippo, Balbinot Eduardo, Petts James, Read Justin, Gieles Mark, Collins Michelle, Peñarrubia Jorge, Delorme Maxime, Gualandris Alessia (2018)Probing dark matter with star clusters: a dark matter core in the ultra-faint dwarf Eridanus II, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press (OUP)
We present a new technique to probe the central dark matter (DM) density profile of galaxies that harnesses both the survival and observed properties of star clusters. As a first application, we apply our method to the `ultra-faint' dwarf Eridanus II (Eri II) that has a lone star cluster ~45 pc from its centre. Using a grid of collisional N-body simulations, incorporating the effects of stellar evolution, external tides and dynamical friction, we show that a DM core for Eri II naturally reproduces the size and the projected position of its star cluster. By contrast, a dense cusped galaxy requires the cluster to lie implausibly far from the centre of Eri II (>1 kpc), with a high inclination orbit that must be observed at a particular orbital phase. Our results imply that either a cold DM cusp was `heated up' at the centre of Eri II by bursty star formation, or we are seeing an evidence for physics beyond cold DM.