Stages of Reionization as revealed by the Minkowski Functionals

29 Aug 2019 Chen Zhaoting Xu Yidong Wang Yougang Chen Xuelei

We study the evolution of the hydrogen ionization field during the epoch of reionization (EoR) using semi-numerical simulations. By calculating the Minkowski functionals (MFs) of the 21cm brightness temperature field, which provides a quantitative description of topology of the neutral and ionized regions, we find that the reionization process can be divided into five stages, each with different topological structures, corresponding to isolated ionized regions ("bubbles"); connected ionized region ("ionized fibers") which percolate through the cosmic volume; a sponge-like configuration with intertwined neutral and ionized regions after the overlap of bubbles; connected neutral regions ("neutral fibers") when the ionized region begin to surround the remaining neutral region; and isolated neutral regions ("islands"), before the whole space is ionized except for the rare dense clumps in galaxies and minihalos and the reionization process is completed... (read more)

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