A simple and general method for solving detailed chemical evolution with delayed production of iron and other chemical elements

Fiorenzo Vincenzo, Francesca Matteucci, Emanuele Spitoni

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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We present a theoretical method for solving the chemical evolution of galaxies by assuming an
instantaneous recycling approximation for chemical elements restored by massive stars and the
delay time distribution formalism for delayed chemical enrichment by Type Ia Supernovae.
The galaxy gas mass assembly history, together with the assumed stellar yields and initial
mass function, represents the starting point of this method. We derive a simple and general
equation, which closely relates the Laplace transforms of the galaxy gas accretion history and
star formation history, which can be used to simplify the problem of retrieving these quantities
in the galaxy evolution models assuming a linear Schmidt–Kennicutt law. We find that –
once the galaxy star formation history has been reconstructed from our assumptions – the
differential equation for the evolution of the chemical element X can be suitably solved with
classical methods. We apply our model to reproduce the [O/Fe] and [Si/Fe] versus [Fe/H]
chemical abundance patterns as observed at the solar neighbourhood by assuming a decaying
exponential infall rate of gas and different delay time distributions for Type Ia Supernovae; we
also explore the effect of assuming a non-linear Schmidt–Kennicutt law, with the index of the
power law being k = 1.4. Although approximate, we conclude that our model with the singledegenerate
scenario for Type Ia Supernovae provides the best agreement with the observed set
of data. Our method can be used by other complementary galaxy stellar population synthesis
models to predict also the chemical evolution of galaxies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2939-2947
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date31 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2017


  • stars: abundances
  • ISM: abundances
  • ISM: evolution
  • galaxies: abundances
  • galaxies: evolution


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