Cosmology with weak lensing surveys

Dipak Munshi, Patrick Valageas, Ludovic van Waerbeke, Alan Heavens

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract

Weak gravitational lensing is responsible for the shearing and magnification of the images of high-redshift sources due to the presence of intervening matter. The distortions are due to fluctuations in the gravitational potential, and are directly related to the distribution of matter and to the geometry and dynamics of the Universe. As a consequence, weak gravitational lensing offers unique possibilities for probing the Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe. In this review, we summarise the theoretical and observational state of the subject, focussing on the statistical aspects of weak lensing, and consider the prospects for weak lensing surveys in the future.

Weak gravitational lensing surveys are complementary to both galaxy surveys and cosmic microwave background (CMB) observations as they probe the unbiased non-linear matter power spectrum at modest redshifts. Most of the cosmological parameters are accurately estimated from CMB and large-scale galaxy surveys, so the focus of attention is shifting to understanding the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. On the theoretical side, recent advances in the use of 3D information of the sources from photometric redshifts promise greater statistical power, and these are further enhanced by the use of statistics beyond two-point quantities such as the power spectrum. The use of 3D information also alleviates difficulties arising from physical effects such as the intrinsic alignment of galaxies, which can mimic weak lensing to some extent. on the observational side, in the next few years weak lensing surveys such as CFHTLS, VST-KIDS and Pan-STARRS, and the planned Dark Energy Survey, will provide the first weak lensing surveys covering very large sky areas and depth. In the long run even more ambitious programmes such as DUNE, the Supernova Anisotropy Probe (SNAP) and Large-aperture Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) are planned. Weak lensing of diffuse components such as the CMB and 21 cm emission can also provide valuable cosmological information. Finally, we consider the prospects for joint analysis with other probes, such as (1) the CMB to probe background cosmology (2) galaxy surveys to probe large-scale bias and (3) Sunyaev-Zeldovich surveys to study small-scale baryonic physics, and consider the lensing effect on cosmological supernova observations. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-121
Number of pages55
JournalPhysics Reports
Volume462
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Keywords

  • gravitational lensing
  • LARGE-SCALE STRUCTURE
  • MICROWAVE BACKGROUND ANISOTROPIES
  • DARK-MATTER HALOS
  • 3-POINT CORRELATION-FUNCTION
  • DIGITAL SKY SURVEY
  • COSMIC SHEAR MEASUREMENTS
  • APERTURE MASS STATISTICS
  • HIGH-REDSHIFT SUPERNOVAE
  • SQUARE DEGREE FIELD
  • POWER SPECTRUM

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