Archive for January 11, 2017

Bayesian weak lensing tomography: Reconstructing the 3D large-scale distribution of matter with a lognormal prior [CEA]

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2017 by telescoper

Bayesian and Lognormal! How could I resist a reblog of this arXiver post?


We present a Bayesian reconstruction algorithm that infers the three-dimensional large-scale matter distribution from the weak gravitational lensing effects measured in the image shapes of galaxies. The algorithm assumes that the prior probability distribution of the matter density is lognormal, in contrast to many existing methods that assume normal (Gaussian) distributed density fields. We compare the reconstruction results for both priors in a suite of increasingly realistic tests on mock data. We find that in cases of high noise levels (i.e. for low source galaxy densities and/or high shape measurement uncertainties), both normal and lognormal priors lead to reconstructions of comparable quality. In the low-noise regime, however, the lognormal model produces significantly better reconstructions than the normal model: The lognormal model 1) enforces non-negative densities, while negative densities are present when a normal prior is employed, 2) better traces the extremal values and the skewness of the true underlying…

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Status of Dark Matter in the Universe [CEA]

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , on January 11, 2017 by telescoper

Courtesy of arXiver, here’s a nice review article if you want to get up to date with the latest ideas and evidence about Dark Matter…


Over the past few decades, a consensus picture has emerged in which roughly a quarter of the universe consists of dark matter. I begin with a review of the observational evidence for the existence of dark matter: rotation curves of galaxies, gravitational lensing measurements, hot gas in clusters, galaxy formation, primordial nucleosynthesis and cosmic microwave background observations. Then I discuss a number of anomalous signals in a variety of data sets that may point to discovery, though all of them are controversial. The annual modulation in the DAMA detector and/or the gamma-ray excess seen in the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope from the Galactic Center could be due to WIMPs; a 3.5 keV X-ray line from multiple sources could be due to sterile neutrinos; or the 511 keV line in INTEGRAL data could be due to MeV dark matter. All of these would require further confirmation in other experiments…

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