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Cosmological test of gravity using weak lensing voids.

Davies, Christopher T. and Cautun, Marius and Li, Baojiu (2019) 'Cosmological test of gravity using weak lensing voids.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 490 (4). pp. 4907-4917.


Modifications to general relativity often incorporate screening mechanisms in order to remain compatible with existing tests of gravity. The screening is less efficient in underdense regions, which suggests that cosmic voids can be a useful cosmological probe for constraining modified gravity models. In particular, weak lensing by voids has been proposed as a promising test of such theories. Usually, voids are identified from galaxy distributions, making them biased tracers of the underlying matter field. An alternative approach is to study voids identified in weak lensing maps – weak lensing voids – which have been shown to better correspond to true underdense regions. In this paper, we study the ability of weak lensing voids to detect the signatures of modified gravity. Focusing on the void abundance and weak lensing profiles, we find that both statistics are sensitive probes of gravity. These are quantified in terms of the signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) with which an LSST-like survey will be able to distinguish between different gravity models. We find that the tangential shear profiles of weak lensing voids are considerably better than galaxy voids at this, though voids have somewhat lower SNR than weak lensing peaks. The abundances of voids and peaks have, respectively, SNR=50 and 70 for a popular class of modified gravity in an LSST-like survey.

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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in the Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:11 October 2019
Date deposited:15 November 2019
Date of first online publication:18 October 2019
Date first made open access:15 November 2019

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