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Title: JWST lensed quasar dark matter survey – I. Description and first results
ABSTRACT

The flux ratios of gravitationally lensed quasars provide a powerful probe of the nature of dark matter. Importantly, these ratios are sensitive to small-scale structure, irrespective of the presence of baryons. This sensitivity may allow us to study the halo mass function even below the scales where galaxies form observable stars. For accurate measurements, it is essential that the quasar’s light is emitted from a physical region of the quasar with an angular scale of milliarcseconds or larger; this minimizes microlensing effects by stars within the deflector. The warm dust region of quasars fits this criterion, as it has parsec-size physical scales and dominates the spectral energy distribution of quasars at wavelengths greater than 10 μm. The JWST Mid-Infrared Instrument is adept at detecting redshifted light in this wavelength range, offering both the spatial resolution and sensitivity required for accurate gravitational lensing flux ratio measurements. Here, we introduce our survey designed to measure the warm dust flux ratios of 31 lensed quasars. We discuss the flux-ratio measurement technique and present results for the first target, DES J0405-3308. We find that we can measure the quasar warm dust flux ratios with 3 per cent precision. Our simulations suggest that this precision makes it feasible to detect the presence of 107 M⊙ dark matter haloes at cosmological distances. Such haloes are expected to be completely dark in cold dark matter models.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10503558
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; « less
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
530
Issue:
3
ISSN:
0035-8711
Format(s):
Medium: X Size: p. 2960-2971
Size(s):
["p. 2960-2971"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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