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Gravitational Lensing Statistics in Universes Dominated by Dark Energy

By M. Kuhlen, C. R. Keeton and P. Madau


We study lens statistics in flat, low-density universes with different equations of state $w=p_Q/\rho_Q$ for the dark energy component. Dark energy modifies the distance-redshift relation and the mass function of dark matter halos leading to changes in the lensing optical depth as a function of image separation. Those effects must, however, be distinguished from effects associated with the structure of dark matter halos. Baryonic cooling causes galaxy-mass halos to have different central density profiles than group- and cluster-mass halos, which causes the distribution of normal arcsecond-scale lenses to differ from the distribution of ``wide-separation'' ($\Delta\theta \gtrsim 4\arcsec$) lenses. Fortunately, the various parameters related to cosmology and halo structure have very different effects on the overall image separation distribution: (1) the abundance of wide-separation lenses is exremely sensitive (by orders of magnitude) to the distribution of ``concentration'' parameters for massive halos modeled with the Navarro-Frenk-White profile; (2) the transition between normal and wide-separation lenses depends mainly on the mass scale where baryonic cooling ceases to be efficient; and (3) dark energy has effects at all image separation scales. While current lens samples cannot usefully constrain all of the parameters, ongoing and future imaging surveys should discover hundreds or thousands of lenses and make it possible to disentangle the various effects and constrain all of the parameters simultaneously. (abridged)Comment: 15 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication in Ap

Topics: Astrophysics
Publisher: 'University of Chicago Press'
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1086/380303
OAI identifier:

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