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Constraints on the identity of the dark matter from strong gravitational lenses.

Li, R. and Frenk, C. S. and Cole, S. and Gao, L. and Bose, S. and Hellwing, W. A. (2016) 'Constraints on the identity of the dark matter from strong gravitational lenses.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 460 (1). pp. 363-372.


The cold dark matter (CDM) cosmological model unambiguously predicts that a large number of haloes should survive as subhaloes when they are accreted into a larger halo. The CDM model would be ruled out if such substructures were shown not to exist. By contrast, if the dark matter consists of Warm Dark Matter (WDM) particles, then below a threshold mass that depends on the particle mass far fewer substructures would be present. Finding subhaloes below a certain mass would then rule out warm particle masses below some value. Strong gravitational lensing provides a clean method to measure the subhalo mass function through distortions in the structure of Einstein rings and giant arcs. Using mock lensing observations constructed from high-resolution N-body simulations, we show that measurements of approximately 100 strong lens systems with a detection limit of Mlow = 107 h−1 M⊙ would clearly distinguish CDM from WDM in the case where this consists of 7 keV sterile neutrinos such as those that might be responsible for the 3.5 keV X-ray emission line recently detected in galaxies and clusters.

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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:19 April 2016
Date deposited:16 June 2016
Date of first online publication:21 April 2016
Date first made open access:16 June 2016

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