Constraining cosmology with the Halo occupation distribution
Abstract (Summary)The bias of galaxies with respect to the underlying matter distribution has long been an obstacle to constraining cosmology from measurements of galaxy clustering. Recent advancements in quantifying bias have made it possible to model galaxy clustering from linear to strongly non-linear scales, creating unique methods through which to constrain cosmological parameters that are complementary to more standard, large-scale techniques. These advances are encapsulated in the Halo Occupation Distribution (HOD), in which the bias of galaxies is described at the level of individual dark matter halos. For a given cosmological model, the parameters that specify the number of galaxies that reside in each halo can be constrained by measurements of the galaxy correlation function. With these HOD parameters, the given cosmology model can be tested through a number of other clustering measures that are more sensitive to the underlying dark matter distribution. The clustering measures I investigate in this thesis are mass-to-light ratios, redshift-space distortions, and galaxy void statistics. Mass-to-light ratios of galaxy clusters are uniquely suited to the halo occupation approach because the HOD can specify the number of galaxies in a halo as a function of luminosity. Galaxy bias directly influences the amount of light per unit mass in a cosmological model. I combine HOD models with observational measurements of cluster M/L ratios to test varying cosmologies. Using the HOD to model galaxy clustering in redshift-space allows one to combine data from small and large scales to break the degeneracies that govern the application of models based on linear theory alone. I use numerical simulations to calibrate a new analytic model and apply this model to observations of the redshift-space correlation function from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Galaxy voids prove to be insensitive to the details of halo occupation or the cosmological model assumed. This makes void statistics a sensitive test for the underlying assumption of the HOD, which states that galaxy occupation is a function of halo mass only, and not dependent on larger-scale environment. Quantifying the limits of this assumption are necessary for confidence in the constraints the HOD places on cosmology, and for testing our current picture of galaxy formation.
School:The Ohio State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2005