Weak Gravitational Lensing Shear and Magnification Analysis of Hydrodynamic Simulations and Application to Weak Lensing Data




Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




In the main part of this dissertation we study the impact of baryonic processes and massive neutrinos on weak lensing peak statistics that can be used to constrain cosmological parame­ters. We use the BAHAMAS simulations, which self-consistently include baryonic processes and the effect of massive neutrino free-streaming on the evolution of structure formation. We construct synthetic weak lensing maps by ray-tracing through light-cones, specifically using the so-called aperture mass statistic. The peaks detected on the maps reflect the cumulative lensing signal from massive bound objects and general large scale structure of the Universe. In particular, we quantify the impact of the prescription for baryonic physics and a range of summed neutrino masses {0.06, 0.12, 0.24, 0.48} eV on the detected peaks, so that in future this uncertainty can be factored into studies using lensing peaks to constrain cosmological models. As higher neutrino mass tends to suppress the formation of massive structures in the Universe, the halo mass function and lensing peak counts are therefore modified as a function of Mν. Both baryonic physics and massive neutrinos impact on weak lensing peaks, depending on the mass range under consideration, and should be accounted for when deriv­ing cosmological parameters from weak lensing observations. For example, baryonic physics is less important for the most massive haloes. We also present a study of the cluster merger system Abell 2146. We make new aperture mass maps by applying the aperture mass statistic to Hubble Space Telescope data of the system, using different size apertures. These maps directly show the signal-to-noise with which lensing detects features in the system. We also develop a pipeline that can in general be applied to snapshots from computer simulations of cluster merger systems. This pipeline produces maps of lensing observables that would be measured at different times during the merger process. In particular the lensing distortion field or so-called shear field can be compared with the shear field that we have estimated from Hubble Space Telescope observations, in order to find the best description of the cluster and merger parameters of the system. Finally we develop a pipeline to measure the stacked weak lensing shear and magnification signatures of galaxy clusters. We apply this pipeline to analytic models of clusters, and conclude that the shear information gives better constraints on mass models, even though the number of sources from which the shear can be measured is lower than for the magnification. In future this can be applied to synthetic catalogues for example from the BAHAMAS simulation or to real data for example from LSST or Euclid.



Gravitational lenses, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Baryons, Neutrinos, Galaxies—Clusters



©2019 Miyoung Choi. All Rights Reserved.