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  1. ABSTRACT Self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) cosmologies admit an enormous diversity of dark matter (DM) halo density profiles, from low-density cores to high-density core-collapsed cusps. The possibility of the growth of high central density in low-mass haloes, accelerated if haloes are subhaloes of larger systems, has intriguing consequences for small-halo searches with substructure lensing. However, following the evolution of ${\lesssim}10^8 \, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ subhaloes in lens-mass systems (${\sim}10^{13}\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$) is computationally expensive with traditional N-body simulations. In this work, we develop a new hybrid semi-analytical + N-body method to study the evolution of SIDM subhaloes with high fidelity, from core formation to core-collapse, in staged simulations. Our method works best for small subhaloes (≲1/1000 host mass), for which the error caused by dynamical friction is minimal. We are able to capture the evaporation of subhalo particles by interactions with host halo particles, an effect that has not yet been fully explored in the context of subhalo core-collapse. We find three main processes drive subhalo evolution: subhalo internal heat outflow, host-subhalo evaporation, and tidal effects. The subhalo central density grows only when the heat outflow outweighs the energy gain from evaporation and tidal heating. Thus, evaporation delays or even disrupts subhalo core-collapse. Wemore »map out the parameter space for subhaloes to core-collapse, finding that it is nearly impossible to drive core-collapse in subhaloes in SIDM models with constant cross-sections. Any discovery of ultracompact dark substructures with future substructure lensing observations favours additional degrees of freedom, such as velocity-dependence, in the cross-section.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 23, 2023
  2. Abstract

    The thermal Sunyaev–Zel’dovich (tSZ) effect is a powerful tool with the potential for constraining directly the properties of the hot gas that dominates dark matter halos because it measures pressure and thus thermal energy density. Studying this hot component of the circumgalactic medium (CGM) is important because it is strongly impacted by star formation and active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity in galaxies, participating in the feedback loop that regulates star and black hole mass growth in galaxies. We study the tSZ effect across a wide halo-mass range using three cosmological hydrodynamical simulations: Illustris-TNG, EAGLE, and FIRE-2. Specifically, we present the scaling relation between the tSZ signal and halo mass and the (mass-weighted) radial profiles of gas density, temperature, and pressure for all three simulations. The analysis includes comparisons to Planck tSZ observations and to the thermal pressure profile inferred from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) measurements. We compare these tSZ data to simulations to interpret the measurements in terms of feedback and accretion processes in the CGM. We also identify as-yet unobserved potential signatures of these processes that may be visible in future measurements, which will have the capability of measuring tSZ signals to even lower masses. We alsomore »perform internal comparisons between runs with different physical assumptions. We conclude (1) there is strong evidence for the impact of feedback atR500, but that this impact decreases by 5R500, and (2) the thermodynamic profiles of the CGM are highly dependent on the implemented model, such as cosmic-ray or AGN feedback prescriptions.

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    The primordial matter power spectrum quantifies fluctuations in the distribution of dark matter immediately following inflation. Over cosmic time, overdense regions of the primordial density field grow and collapse into dark matter haloes, whose abundance and density profiles retain memory of the initial conditions. By analysing the image magnifications in 11 strongly lensed and quadruply imaged quasars, we infer the abundance and concentrations of low-mass haloes, and cast the measurement in terms of the amplitude of the primordial matter power spectrum. We anchor the power spectrum on large scales, isolating the effect of small-scale deviations from the Lambda cold dark matter (ΛCDM) prediction. Assuming an analytic model for the power spectrum and accounting for several sources of potential systematic uncertainty, including three different models for the halo mass function, we obtain correlated inferences of $\log _{10}\left(P / P_{\Lambda \rm {CDM}}\right)$, the power spectrum amplitude relative to the predictions of the concordance cosmological model, of $0.0_{-0.4}^{+0.5}$, $0.1_{-0.6}^{+0.7}$, and $0.2_{-0.9}^{+1.0}$ at k = 10, 25, and 50 $\rm {Mpc^{-1}}$ at $68 {{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ confidence, consistent with CDM and single-field slow-roll inflation.

  4. Abstract The mass-concentration relation of dark matter halos reflects the assembly history of objects in hierarchical structure formation scenarios, and depends on fundamental quantities in cosmology such as the slope of the primordial matter power-spectrum. This relation is unconstrained by observations on sub-galactic scales. We derive the first measurement of the mass-concentration relation using the image positions and flux ratios from eleven quadruple-image strong gravitational lenses (quads) in the mass range 106 − 1010M⊙, assuming cold dark matter. We model both subhalos and line of sight halos, finite-size background sources, and marginalize over nuisance parameters describing the lens macromodel. We also marginalize over the the logarithmic slope and redshift evolution of the mass-concentration relation, using flat priors that encompass the range of theoretical uncertainty in the literature. At z = 0, we constrain the concentration of 108M⊙ halos $c=12_{-5}^{+6}$ at $68 \%$ CI, and $c=12_{-9}^{+15}$ at $95 \%$ CI. For a 107M⊙ halo, we obtain $68 \%$ ($95 \%$) constraints $c=15_{-8}^{+9}$ ($c=15_{-11}^{+18}$), while for 109M⊙ halos $c=10_{-4}^{+7}$ ($c=10_{-7}^{+14}$). These results are consistent with the theoretical predictions from mass-concentration relations in the literature, and establish strong lensing by galaxies as a powerful probe of halo concentrations on sub-galactic scales across cosmologicalmore »distance.« less
  5. ABSTRACT The free-streaming length of dark matter depends on fundamental dark matter physics, and determines the abundance and concentration of dark matter haloes on sub-galactic scales. Using the image positions and flux ratios from eight quadruply imaged quasars, we constrain the free-streaming length of dark matter and the amplitude of the subhalo mass function (SHMF). We model both main deflector subhaloes and haloes along the line of sight, and account for warm dark matter free-streaming effects on the mass function and mass–concentration relation. By calibrating the scaling of the SHMF with host halo mass and redshift using a suite of simulated haloes, we infer a global normalization for the SHMF. We account for finite-size background sources, and marginalize over the mass profile of the main deflector. Parametrizing dark matter free-streaming through the half-mode mass mhm, we constrain the thermal relic particle mass mDM corresponding to mhm. At $95 \, {\rm per\, cent}$ CI: mhm < 107.8 M⊙ ($m_{\rm {DM}} \gt 5.2 \ \rm {keV}$). We disfavour $m_{\rm {DM}} = 4.0 \,\rm {keV}$ and $m_{\rm {DM}} = 3.0 \,\rm {keV}$ with likelihood ratios of 7:1 and 30:1, respectively, relative to the peak of the posterior distribution. Assuming cold dark matter, we constrainmore »the projected mass in substructure between 106 and 109 M⊙ near lensed images. At $68 \, {\rm per\, cent}$ CI, we infer $2.0{-}6.1 \times 10^{7}\, {{\rm M}_{\odot }}\,\rm {kpc^{-2}}$, corresponding to mean projected mass fraction $\bar{f}_{\rm {sub}} = 0.035_{-0.017}^{+0.021}$. At $95 \, {\rm per\, cent}$ CI, we obtain a lower bound on the projected mass of $0.6 \times 10^{7} \,{{\rm M}_{\odot }}\,\rm {kpc^{-2}}$, corresponding to $\bar{f}_{\rm {sub}} \gt 0.005$. These results agree with the predictions of cold dark matter.« less
  6. Abstract In the cold dark matter (CDM) picture of structure formation, galaxy mass distributions are predicted to have a considerable amount of structure on small scales. Strong gravitational lensing has proven to be a useful tool for studying this small-scale structure. Much of the attention has been given to detecting individual dark matter subhaloes through lens modelling, but recent work has suggested that the full population of subhaloes could be probed using a power spectrum analysis. In this paper, we quantify the power spectrum of small-scale structure in simulated galaxies, with the goal of understanding theoretical predictions and setting the stage for using measurements of the power spectrum to test dark matter models. We use a sample of simulated galaxies generated from the galacticus semi-analytic model to determine the power spectrum distribution first in the CDM paradigm and then in a warm dark matter scenario. We find that a measurement of the slope and amplitude of the power spectrum on galaxy strong lensing scales (k ∼ 1 kpc−1) could be used to distinguish between CDM and alternate dark matter models, especially if the most massive subhaloes can be directly detected via gravitational imaging.
  7. ABSTRACT Core formation and runaway core collapse in models with self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) significantly alter the central density profiles of collapsed haloes. Using a forward modelling inference framework with simulated data-sets, we demonstrate that flux ratios in quadruple image strong gravitational lenses can detect the unique structural properties of SIDM haloes, and statistically constrain the amplitude and velocity dependence of the interaction cross-section in haloes with masses between 106 and 1010 M⊙. Measurements on these scales probe self-interactions at velocities below $30 \ \rm {km} \ \rm {s^{-1}}$, a relatively unexplored regime of parameter space, complimenting constraints at higher velocities from galaxies and clusters. We cast constraints on the amplitude and velocity dependence of the interaction cross-section in terms of σ20, the cross-section amplitude at $20 \ \rm {km} \ \rm {s^{-1}}$. With 50 lenses, a sample size available in the near future, and flux ratios measured from spatially compact mid-IR emission around the background quasar, we forecast $\sigma _{20} \lt 11\rm {\small {--}}23 \ \rm {cm^2} \rm {g^{-1}}$ at $95 {{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ CI, depending on the amplitude of the subhalo mass function, and assuming cold dark matter (CDM). Alternatively, if $\sigma _{20} = 19.2 \ \rmmore »{cm^2}\rm {g^{-1}}$ we can rule out CDM with a likelihood ratio of 20:1, assuming an amplitude of the subhalo mass function that results from doubly efficient tidal disruption in the Milky Way relative to massive elliptical galaxies. These results demonstrate that strong lensing of compact, unresolved sources can constrain SIDM structure on sub-galactic scales across cosmological distances, and the evolution of SIDM density profiles over several Gyr of cosmic time.« less