A complete list of my publications and conference proceedings can be found at the following external websites:
Refereed Journal Articles
Physical Review D, 90, 83503
In light of the recent BICEP2 B-mode polarization detection, which implies a large inflationary tensor-to-scalar ratio r0.05=0.2-0.05+0.07, we re-examine the evidence for an extra sterile massive neutrino, originally invoked to account for the tension between the cosmic microwave background (CMB) temperature power spectrum and local measurements of the expansion rate H0 and cosmological structure. With only the standard active neutrinos and power-law scalar spectra, this detection is in tension with the upper limit of r
Physical Review Letters, 112, 51302
Current measurements of the low and high redshift Universe are in tension if we restrict ourselves to the standard six-parameter model of flat LambdaCDM. This tension has two parts. First, the Planck satellite data suggest a higher normalization of matter perturbations than local measurements of galaxy clusters. Second, the expansion rate of the Universe today, H0, derived from local distance-redshift measurements is significantly higher than that inferred using the acoustic scale in galaxy surveys and the Planck data as a standard ruler. The addition of a sterile neutrino species changes the acoustic scale and brings the two into agreement; meanwhile, adding mass to the active neutrinos or to a sterile neutrino can suppress the growth of structure, bringing the cluster data into better concordance as well. For our fiducial data set combination, with statistical errors for clusters, a model with a massive sterile neutrino shows 3.5sigma evidence for a nonzero mass and an even stronger rejection of the minimal model. A model with massive active neutrinos and a massless sterile neutrino is similarly preferred. An eV-scale sterile neutrino mass---of interest for short baseline and reactor anomalies---is well within the allowed range. We caution that (i) unknown astrophysical systematic errors in any of the data sets could weaken this conclusion, but they would need to be several times the known errors to eliminate the tensions entirely; (ii) the results we find are at some variance with analyses that do not include cluster measurements; and (iii) some tension remains among the data sets even when new neutrino physics is included.
The Astrophysical Journal, 782, 107
The use of galaxy clusters as cosmological probes hinges on our ability to measure their masses accurately and with high precision. Hydrostatic mass is one of the most common methods for estimating the masses of individual galaxy clusters, which suffer from biases due to departures from hydrostatic equilibrium. Using a large, mass-limited sample of massive galaxy clusters from a high-resolution hydrodynamical cosmological simulation, in this work we show that in addition to turbulent and bulk gas velocities, acceleration of gas introduces biases in the hydrostatic mass estimate of galaxy clusters. In unrelaxed clusters, the acceleration bias is comparable to the bias due to non-thermal pressure associated with merger-induced turbulent and bulk gas motions. In relaxed clusters, the mean mass bias due to acceleration is small (lsim 3%), but the scatter in the mass bias can be reduced by accounting for gas acceleration. Additionally, this acceleration bias is greater in the outskirts of higher redshift clusters where mergers are more frequent and clusters are accreting more rapidly. Since gas acceleration cannot be observed directly, it introduces an irreducible bias for hydrostatic mass estimates. This acceleration bias places limits on how well we can recover cluster masses from future X-ray and microwave observations. We discuss implications for cluster mass estimates based on X-ray, Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, and gravitational lensing observations and their impact on cluster cosmology.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 210, 14
We introduce the Assembling Galaxies Of Resolved Anatomy (AGORA) project, a comprehensive numerical study of well-resolved galaxies within the LambdaCDM cosmology. Cosmological hydrodynamic simulations with force resolutions of ~100 proper pc or better will be run with a variety of code platforms to follow the hierarchical growth, star formation history, morphological transformation, and the cycle of baryons in and out of eight galaxies with halo masses M vir ~= 1010, 1011, 1012, and 1013 M &sun; at z = 0 and two different ("violent" and "quiescent") assembly histories. The numerical techniques and implementations used in this project include the smoothed particle hydrodynamics codes GADGET and GASOLINE, and the adaptive mesh refinement codes ART, ENZO, and RAMSES. The codes share common initial conditions and common astrophysics packages including UV background, metal-dependent radiative cooling, metal and energy yields of supernovae, and stellar initial mass function. These are described in detail in the present paper. Subgrid star formation and feedback prescriptions will be tuned to provide a realistic interstellar and circumgalactic medium using a non-cosmological disk galaxy simulation. Cosmological runs will be systematically compared with each other using a common analysis toolkit and validated against observations to verify that the solutions are robust---i.e., that the astrophysical assumptions are responsible for any success, rather than artifacts of particular implementations. The goals of the AGORA project are, broadly speaking, to raise the realism and predictive power of galaxy simulations and the understanding of the feedback processes that regulate galaxy "metabolism." The initial conditions for the AGORA galaxies as well as simulation outputs at various epochs will be made publicly available to the community. The proof-of-concept dark-matter-only test of the formation of a galactic halo with a z = 0 mass of M vir ~= 1.7 × 1011 M &sun; by nine different versions of the participating codes is also presented to validate the infrastructure of the project.
The Astrophysical Journal, 777, 137
In the hierarchical structure formation model, clusters of galaxies form through a sequence of mergers and continuous mass accretion, which generate significant random gas motions especially in their outskirts where material is actively accreting. Non-thermal pressure provided by the internal gas motions affects the thermodynamic structure of the X-ray emitting intracluster plasma and introduces biases in the physical interpretation of X-ray and Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect observations. However, we know very little about the nature of gas motions in galaxy clusters. The ASTRO-H X-ray mission, scheduled to launch in 2015, will have a calorimeter capable of measuring gas motions in galaxy clusters at the level of
The Astrophysical Journal, 756, 15
We present a detailed investigation of the impact of astrophysical processes on the shape and amplitude of the kinetic SZ (kSZ) power spectrum from the post-reionization epoch. This is achieved by constructing a new model of the kSZ power spectrum which we calibrate to the results of hydrodynamic simulations. By construction, our method accounts for all relevant density and velocity modes and so is unaffected by the limited box size of our simulations. We find that radiative cooling and star formation can reduce the amplitude of the kSZ power spectrum by up to 33% or 1 muK2 at l = 3000. This is driven by a decrease in the mean gas density in groups and clusters due to the conversion of gas into stars. Variations in the redshifts at which helium reionization occurs can effect the amplitude by a similar fraction, while current constraints on cosmological parameters (namely sigma8) translate to a further ±15% uncertainty on the kSZ power spectrum. We demonstrate how the models presented in this work can be constrained---reducing the astrophysical uncertainty on the kSZ signal---by measuring the redshift dependence of the signal via kSZ tomography. Finally, we discuss how the results of this work can help constrain the duration of reionization via measurements of the kSZ signal sourced by inhomogeneous (or patchy) reionization.
The Astrophysical Journal, 751, 121
In this work, we examine the effects of mergers on the hydrostatic mass estimate of galaxy clusters using high-resolution Eulerian cosmological simulations. We utilize merger trees to isolate the last merger for each cluster in our sample and follow the time evolution of the hydrostatic mass bias as the systems relax. We find that during a merger, a shock propagates outward from the parent cluster, resulting in an overestimate in the hydrostatic mass bias. After the merger, as a cluster relaxes, the bias in hydrostatic mass estimate decreases but remains at a level of -5%-10% with 15%-20% scatter within r 500. We also investigate the post-merger evolution of the pressure support from bulk motions, a dominant cause of this residual mass bias. At r 500, the contribution from random motions peaks at 30% of the total pressure during the merger and quickly decays to ~10%-15% as a cluster relaxes. Additionally, we use a measure of the random motion pressure to correct the hydrostatic mass estimate. We discover that 4 Gyr after mergers, the direct effects of the merger event on the hydrostatic mass bias have become negligible. Thereafter, the mass bias is primarily due to residual bulk motions in the gas which are not accounted for in the hydrostatic equilibrium equation. We present a hydrostatic mass bias correction method that can recover the unbiased cluster mass for relaxed clusters with 9% scatter at r 500 and 11% scatter in the outskirts, within r 200.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 194, 46
As emphasized by previous studies, proper treatment of the density fluctuation on the fundamental scale of a cosmological simulation volume---the "DC mode"---is critical for accurate modeling of spatial correlations on scales >~ 10% of simulation box size. We provide further illustration of the effects of the DC mode on the abundance of halos in small boxes and show that it is straightforward to incorporate this mode in cosmological codes that use the "supercomoving" variables. The equations governing evolution of dark matter and baryons recast with these variables are particularly simple and include the expansion factor, and hence the effect of the DC mode, explicitly only in the Poisson equation.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 401, 2463-2476
Eulerian hydrodynamical simulations are a powerful and popular tool for modelling fluids in astrophysical systems. In this work, we critically examine recent claims that these methods violate Galilean invariance of the Euler equations. We demonstrate that Eulerian hydrodynamics methods do converge to a Galilean-invariant solution, provided a well-defined convergent solution exists. Specifically, we show that numerical diffusion, resulting from diffusion-like terms in the discretized hydrodynamical equations solved by Eulerian methods, accounts for the effects previously identified as evidence for the Galilean non-invariance of these methods. These velocity-dependent diffusive terms lead to different results for different bulk velocities when the spatial resolution of the simulation is kept fixed, but their effect becomes negligible as the resolution of the simulation is increased to obtain a converged solution. In particular, we find that Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities develop properly in realistic Eulerian calculations regardless of the bulk velocity provided the problem is simulated with sufficient resolution (a factor of 2-4 increase compared to the case without bulk flows for realistic velocities). Our results reiterate that high-resolution Eulerian methods can perform well and obtain a convergent solution, even in the presence of highly supersonic bulk flows.
The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 701, L16-L19
We present high-resolution cosmological hydrodynamic simulations of three galaxy clusters employing a two-temperature model for the intracluster medium. We show that electron temperatures in cluster outskirts are significantly lower than the mean gas temperature, because Coulomb collisions are insufficient to keep electrons and ions in thermal equilibrium. This deviation is larger in more massive and less relaxed systems, ranging from 5% in relaxed clusters to 30% for clusters undergoing major mergers. The presence of nonequilibrium electrons leads to significant suppression of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZE) signal at large cluster-centric radius. The suppression of the electron pressure also leads to an underestimate of the hydrostatic mass. Merger-driven, internal shocks may also generate significant populations of nonequilibrium electrons in the cluster core, leading to a 5% bias on the integrated SZ mass proxy during cluster mergers.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 394, L11-L15
Cosmological tests based on cluster counts require accurate calibration of the space density of massive haloes, but most calibrations to date have ignored complex gas physics associated with halo baryons. We explore the sensitivity of the halo mass function to baryon physics using two pairs of gas-dynamic simulations that are likely to bracket the true behaviour. Each pair consists of a baseline model involving only gravity and shock heating, and a refined physics model aimed at reproducing the observed scaling of the hot, intracluster gas phase. One pair consists of billion-particle resimulations of the original 500h-1Mpc Millennium Simulation of Springel et al., run with the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code GADGET-2 and using a refined physics treatment approximated by pre-heating (PH) at high redshift. The other pair are high-resolution simulations from the adaptive-mesh refinement code ART, for which the refined treatment includes cooling, star formation and supernova feedback (CSF). We find that, although the mass functions of the gravity-only (GO) treatments are consistent with the recent calibration of Tinker et al. (2008), both pairs of simulations with refined baryon physics show significant deviations. Relative to the GO case, the masses of ~1014h-1Msolar haloes in the PH and CSF treatments are shifted by the averages of -15 +/- 1 and +16 +/- 2 per cent, respectively. These mass shifts cause ~30 per cent deviations in number density relative to the Tinker function, significantly larger than the 5 per cent statistical uncertainty of that calibration.
Physical Review D, 77, 43507
Recent numerical studies indicate that uncertainties in the treatment of baryonic physics can affect predictions for weak lensing shear power spectra at a level that is significant for several forthcoming surveys such as the Dark Energy Survey, the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Correspondingly, we show that baryonic effects can significantly bias dark energy parameter measurements. Elimination of such potential biases by neglecting information in multipoles beyond several hundred leads to weaker parameter constraints by a factor of ˜2 3 compared with using information out to multipoles of several thousand. Fortunately, the same numerical studies that explore the influence of baryons indicate that they primarily affect power spectra by altering halo structure through the relation between halo mass and mean effective halo concentration. We explore the ability of future weak lensing surveys to constrain both the internal structures of halos and the properties of the dark energy simultaneously as a first step toward self calibrating for the physics of baryons. In this approach, parameter biases are greatly reduced and no parameter constraint is degraded by more than ˜40% in the case of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope or 30% in the cases of the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe or the Dark Energy Survey. Modest prior knowledge of the halo concentration relation and its redshift evolution greatly improves even these forecasts. In addition, we find that these surveys can constrain effective halo concentrations themselves usefully with shear power spectra alone. In the most restrictive case of a power-law relation for halo concentration as a function of mass and redshift, the concentrations of halos of mass m˜1014h-1M&sun; at z˜0.2 can be constrained to better than 10%. Our results suggest that inferring dark energy parameters through shear spectra can be made robust to baryonic physics and that this procedure may even provide useful constraints on galaxy formation models.
The Astrophysical Journal, 672, 19-32
We study the importance of baryonic physics on predictions of the matter power spectrum as it is relevant for forthcoming weak-lensing surveys. We quantify the impact of baryonic physics using a set of cosmological numerical simulations. Each simulation has the same initial density field, but models a different set of physical processes. We find that baryonic processes significantly alter predictions for the matter power spectrum relative to models that include only gravitational interactions. Our results imply that future weak-lensing experiments such as LSST and SNAP will likely be sensitive to the uncertain physics governing the nonlinear evolution of the baryonic component of the universe if these experiments are primarily limited by statistical uncertainties. In particular, this effect could be important for forecasts of the constraining power of future surveys if information from scales l>~1000 is included in the analysis. We find that deviations are caused primarily by the rearrangement of matter within individual dark matter halos relative to the gravity-only case, rather than a large-scale rearrangement of matter. Consequently, we propose a simple model, based on the phenomenological halo model of dark matter clustering, for baryonic effects that can be used to aid in the interpretation of forthcoming weak-lensing data.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 380, 963-978
We have carried out a comparison study of hydrodynamical codes by investigating their performance in modelling interacting multiphase fluids. The two commonly used techniques of grid and smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) show striking differences in their ability to model processes that are fundamentally important across many areas of astrophysics. Whilst Eulerian grid based methods are able to resolve and treat important dynamical instabilities, such as Kelvin-Helmholtz or Rayleigh-Taylor, these processes are poorly or not at all resolved by existing SPH techniques. We show that the reason for this is that SPH, at least in its standard implementation, introduces spurious pressure forces on particles in regions where there are steep density gradients. This results in a boundary gap of the size of an SPH smoothing kernel radius over which interactions are severely damped.