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Title: Mapping all the mass in the universe (with weak gravitational lensing) - Oral Presentation

Recent discoveries have shown that most of the universe is made of an exotic dark matter that behaves much differently than the normal matter that we experience in everyday life. As we cannot detect dark matter directly, we must infer its location in the universe by indirect effects, such as the distortion of light from distant galaxies as it travels through large clouds of dark matter. While the degree of distortion should be proportional to the amount of dark matter present, we don't know the original shape of the galaxy so the distortion is difficult to quantify. If we had a model of how dark matter is linked to galaxies, and thus be able predict the amount of distortion that should occur, we could apply the model to galaxy surveys to map out the dark matter in our universe. In this research, I attach a spherical 'halo' of dark matter to each galaxy in a simulated universe to approximate its known complex dark matter structure. I then predict how the halos distort the light from distant galaxies generated behind the halos. As the data is simulated, the true distortion of the light is known which is compared to the halo-predictedmore » distortion. I find that, on average, the model under-predicts the degree of distortion on all scales and fails to capture distortions from large-scale dark matter structure. These issues are likely due to missing features in the model, as the halo model is a greatly simplified version of the actual distribution of dark matter. Potential improvements to the model for future work are discussed.« less
  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States