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Title: Precision cosmology with time delay lenses: High resolution imaging requirements

Lens time delays are a powerful probe of cosmology, provided that the gravitational potential of the main deflector can be modeled with sufficient precision. Recent work has shown that this can be achieved by detailed modeling of the host galaxies of lensed quasars, which appear as ``Einstein Rings'' in high resolution images. The distortion of these arcs and counter-arcs, as measured over a large number of pixels, provides tight constraints on the difference between the gravitational potential between the quasar image positions, and thus on cosmology in combination with the measured time delay. We carry out a systematic exploration of the high resolution imaging required to exploit the thousands of lensed quasars that will be discovered by current and upcoming surveys with the next decade. Specifically, we simulate realistic lens systems as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and ground based adaptive optics images taken with Keck or the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). We compare the performance of these pointed observations with that of images taken by the Euclid (VIS), Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) and Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) surveys. We use as our metric the precision with which the slope γ'more » of the total mass density profile ρtot∝ r–γ' for the main deflector can be measured. Ideally, we require that the statistical error on γ' be less than 0.02, such that it is subdominant to other sources of random and systematic uncertainties. We find that survey data will likely have sufficient depth and resolution to meet the target only for the brighter gravitational lens systems, comparable to those discovered by the SDSS survey. For fainter systems, that will be discovered by current and future surveys, targeted follow-up will be required. Furthermore, the exposure time required with upcoming facilitites such as JWST, the Keck Next Generation Adaptive Optics System, and TMT, will only be of order a few minutes per system, thus making the follow-up of hundreds of systems a practical and efficient cosmological probe.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Beijing Normal Univ., Beijing (China); Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  4. Beijing Normal Univ., Beijing (China); Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  5. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1475-7516; arXiv:1506.07640
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; Journal Volume: 2015; Journal Issue: 09
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS astrophysics; ASTRO; gravitational lensing; galaxy surveys