The evidence in favor of a dark energy component dominating the Universe, and driving its presently accelerated expansion, has progressively grown during the last decade of cosmological observations. If this dark energy is given by a dynamic scalar field, it may also have a direct interaction with other matter fields in the Universe, in particular with cold dark matter. Such interaction would imprint new features on the cosmological background evolution as well as on the growth of cosmic structure, like an additional long-range fifth-force between massive particles, or a variation in time of the dark matter particle mass. We present here the implementation of these new physical effects in the N-body code GADGET-2, and we discuss the outcomes of a series of high-resolution N-body simulations for a selected family of interacting dark energy models. We interestingly find, in contrast with previous claims, that the inner overdensity of dark matter halos decreases in these models with respect to ΛCDM, and consistently halo concentrations show a progressive reduction for increasing couplings. Furthermore, the coupling induces a bias in the overdensities of cold dark matter and baryons that determines a decrease of the halo baryon fraction below its cosmological value. These results go in the direction of alleviating tensions between astrophysical observations and the predictions of the ΛCDM model on small scales, thereby opening new room for coupled dark energy models as an alternative to the cosmological constant.
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