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Aggravating matters: accounting for baryons in cosmological analyses

Three major cosmology-focused missions are planned for the next decade: the Euclid space telescope, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile, and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.

Debackere, S.N.B.
22 September 2022
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Their surveys will detect billions of galaxies over more than a third of the celestial sphere and out to redshifts of z~2 to constrain the evolving matterdistribution using weak gravitational lensing. This thesis focusses on ways of disentangling the contribution of normal matter, baryons for cosmologists, from the measured weak lensing signal for cosmic shear analyses and galaxy cluster mass calibrations. Combining the predictions of computer-simulated universes, evolving billions of particles in time, with simplified models that reproduce the observeddistribution of hot gas inside clusters of galaxies, but that freely vary the amount of matter where no observations are available, we have quantified how strongly our ignorance of the relation between ordinary and dark matter will affect the analysis of the planned surveys. Additionally, we have studied how baryons affect cluster massdeterminations and we suggest a new analysis method for cluster abundance studies that is less sensitive to our lack of knowledge of the exact distribution of normal matter in the outskirts of galaxy clusters.

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