Matter in the Beam: Weak Lensing, Substructures, and the Temperature of Dark Matter

Hareth S. Mahdi, Pascal J. Elahi, Geraint F. Lewis, Chris Power

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
276 Downloads (Pure)


Warm dark matter (WDM) models offer an attractive alternative to the current cold dark matter (CDM) cosmological model. We present a novel method to differentiate between WDM and CDM cosmologies, namely, using weak lensing; this provides a unique probe as it is sensitive to all of the “matter in the beam,” not just dark matter haloes and the galaxies that reside in them, but also the diffuse material between haloes. We compare the weak lensing maps of CDM clusters to those in a WDM model corresponding to a thermally produced 0.5 keV dark matter particle. Our analysis clearly shows that the weak lensing magnification, convergence, and shear distributions can be used to distinguish between CDM and WDM models. WDM models increase the probability of weak magnifications, with the differences being significant to ≳5σ, while leaving no significant imprint on the shear distribution. WDM clusters analyzed in this work are more homogeneous than CDM ones, and the fractional decrease in the amount of material in haloes is proportional to the average increase in the magnification. This difference arises from matter that would be bound in compact haloes in CDM being smoothly distributed over much larger volumes at lower densities in WDM. Moreover, the signature does not solely lie in the probability distribution function but in the full spatial distribution of the convergence field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number212
Pages (from-to)212
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


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