Probing cosmology with weak lensing peak counts

Jan M. Kratochvil, Zoltán Haiman, Morgan May
2010 Physical Review D  
We propose counting peaks in weak lensing (WL) maps, as a function of their height, to probe models of dark energy and to constrain cosmological parameters. Because peaks can be identified in two-dimensional WL maps directly, they can provide constraints that are free from potential selection effects and biases involved in identifying and determining the masses of galaxy clusters. We have run cosmological N-body simulations to produce WL convergence maps in three models with different constant
more » ... alues of the dark energy equation of state parameter, w=-0.8, -1, and -1.2, with a fixed normalization of the primordial power spectrum (corresponding to present-day normalizations of sigma8=0.742, 0.798, and 0.839, respectively). By comparing the number of WL peaks in 8 convergence bins in the range of -0.1 < kappa < 0.2, in multiple realizations of a single simulated 3x3 degree field, we show that the first (last) pair of models can be distinguished at the 95% (85%) confidence level. A survey with depth and area (20,000 sq. degrees), comparable to those expected from LSST, should have a factor of approx. 50 better parameter sensitivity. We find that relatively low-amplitude peaks (kappa = 0.03), which typically do not correspond to a single collapsed halo along the line of sight, account for most of this sensitivity. We study a range of smoothing scales and source galaxy redshifts (z_s). With a fixed source galaxy density of 15/arcmin^2, the best results are provided by the smallest scale we can reliably simulate, 1 arcminute, and z_s=2 provides substantially better sensitivity than z_s< 1.5.
doi:10.1103/physrevd.81.043519 fatcat:o5vo22jemnebreffd2zqhkc3su